WNWN Debuts Cocoa-Free Chocolate to Protect our Planet and People

London-based company WNWN Food Labs has come up with a brand new and ethical way of manufacturing chocolates with their cocoa-free chocolate. Dubbed the Alt-Chocolate, this new confection is vegan, cocoa-free, gluten-free, theobromine-free, and low in sugar content than other chocolates.

The ingredients – barley and carob – used in this new chocolate’s manufacturing process depend on fermentation to avoid the use of cocoa. With this new chocolate production process, the company aims to work on an ethical concept while considering the critical problems associated with conventional chocolate supply chains. Some of the unethical practices with traditional cocoa production techniques include child and slave labor, deforestation, over-dependence on palm oil, and farmer exploitation.

Is it possible to make chocolate without cocoa?

The company is run by CEO Ahrum Pak and CTO Johnny Drain. Pak is a fermentation enthusiast who left her finance career to begin WNWN. She grew up around home-fermented Korean foods, so she already had an idea of how fermentation could work for chocolate making.

She then met Drain, a food consultant with a Ph.D. in Materials Science who also worked at some of the world’s best restaurants and bars. Together they decided to go zero-waste for their next venture while tackling the issues associated with traditional chocolate manufacturing.

WNWN Debuts Cocoa-Free Chocolate

Image: WNWN

But is it possible to make chocolate without using cacao? And, would it still be right to call it ‘chocolate’? The founders of WNWN FoodLabs (pronounced Win-Win) also thought about it. They don’t want to stir controversy by adding “chocolate” to their packaging. Hence, they call their new recipe the “Choc” or “Alt-Chocolate.”

To Make Chocolate Production Ethical

Speaking about traditional chocolate manufacturing techniques, there are many grievances in the industry. There is no respect for people and the planet. Therefore, Pak and Drain began working on this new venture after some dark observations.

WNWN Debuts Cocoa-Free Chocolate

Image: Caitlin Isola

Around 75% of the cocoa’s world production comes from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. As per the data available through the WNWN FoodLabs, approximately one million children are laborers in cacao production. Furthermore, the British startup has also highlighted the deforestation caused by the industry.

To be precise, Côte d’Ivoire has lost around 94% of the forest areas in around 60 years. A third of this is due to the attribution of cacao production. Hence, it’s essential to start growing ethically-grown food substances to relieve stress on the earth and human lives.

Mighty Earth Highlights the Same Issues

All these criticisms are also addressed by Mighty Earth, an American association that takes novel steps to protect climate and forests across the world. In a 2017 report published on the cacao industry, the NGO stated that the growth of this crop alone is the reason for the disappearance of around 118,000 hectares of forest in Côte d’Ivoire, somewhere between 2001-2014.

They also mentioned that around five to six million people throughout the world work within this production chain. Most of the laborers are from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire who live below the poverty line. Even 1-2 million children from the West African coast are also working in this brutal industry.

Ethically Grown Alt-Chocolate

Therefore, WNWN came up with ‘Alt-Chocolate,’ which does not include even a single gram of cacao. Instead, they use barley and carob tree fruits to make a new alternative to chocolate. For preparing this new recipe, a fermentation process works finely by a winemaker or baker, who further mixes a brown paste with cereal grains and pours it into the molds like regular chocolate.

WNWN Debuts Cocoa-Free Chocolate

Image: Green Matters

So, the shape of the alt-chocolate looks like regular chocolate. But doesn’t involve any dark practices that are associated with the conventional way of preparing chocolates. You can find cocoa-free chocolate to reduce the footprint of chocolate addiction. For this, you need to keep checking the ever-updating chocolate list that mentions the chocolate firms using ethically-sourced material as per the F.E.P. standards.

For buying WNWN’s cocoa-free chocolate, you can visit the company’s official website. You can purchase a box of alt-chocolate for £10 GB (approx. $12.50). Besides WNWN, a German startup QOA also creates cocoa-free chocolate.

Via: Green Matters

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