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what do you think about modified and cross breed
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Qprime
Burnaby, Canada
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June 3, 2004 - 5:36 am
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geneticly modified and cross breed chocolate any one have comment on that?

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alex_h
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June 3, 2004 - 9:10 am
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i prefer a product that hasn't been genetically modified, at least not until i know more about the consequences (for myself, etc.).

as far as cross-breeding is concerned: i think that's nothing unusual in the cocoa business. domori does it, if i understand correctly, and trinitario is a hybrid.

<<ce qui fait du bien au palais ne fait du mal à l'âme>>

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Martin Christy
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June 3, 2004 - 12:35 pm
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I don't know of any experiments into GM cacao as yet, there is though a lot of work being done on finding and recovering sub-varieties - looking for improved flavour, yield and disease resistance.

All cacao is cross-bred and hybrid. DNA research has shown that there is no genetically pure Criollo left - we have lost the original cacao of the Aztecs and Maya, it has all been crossed to some extent with the Forestero the Spanish found in the Lower Amazon. Research stations in places like Trinidad and companies like Domori are working to cultivate and grow purer strains of Criollo - Puertomar and Puertofino are made from the early results of this and the new Domori/Hacienda San Jose products are made from cacao trees which are over 90% pure Criollo (from DNA research).

So if you like there is a lot of work going on to undo the hybridisation that has happened in the last 500 years, and for me the most interesting aspect of all the interest in fine chocolate is this 'recovery' work.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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alex_h
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June 3, 2004 - 4:00 pm
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very interesting! can you tell us some more about recovery and research? or can you recommend a good book/website?

<<ce qui fait du bien au palais ne fait du mal à l'âme>>

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Martin Christy
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June 3, 2004 - 4:14 pm
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We've been talking to Domori a lot about this, and will have more info when we write up our last visit to them. The best book I think is the Maricel E. Presilla one - see http://www.seventypercent.com/...../books.asp.

The best web site? Don't you know it yet? [:D]

If you find any other good sources let me know. I am trying to gather a lot more information on this, but the article on New Chocolate http://www.seventypercent.com/pod/feature3.asp is a start. I hope to be talking to some researchers about this soon as well.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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alex_h
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June 4, 2004 - 9:59 am
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of course this is the best site! :-)
that's good news. now i don't have to scour the internet!

i don't really know anything about recovering, etc. just from what i've read here and what you've just mentioned.

i hope this site blooms and blossoms with more activity and further information.

<<ce qui fait du bien au palais ne fait du mal à l'âme>>

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Polarbear
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June 4, 2004 - 3:57 pm
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I havn't paid so many thoughts to the GM side of the issue, but the fair trade issue is important to me. much of the cocoa in the world is produced by workers under really bad conditions. By buing organic/fair trade chocolates, I hope to take more social responsibility. And, the chocolates tastes better too, because it hasn't been forced up in a hurry.

How do the big names i super-choc stand with respect to ecology and fair trade - e.g. Valrhona, Marcolini, Amedei, Domori, Bonnat etc?

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My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
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alex_h
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June 4, 2004 - 4:08 pm
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good question that keeps coming up in connection with chocolate. i agree that responsibility is an important issue. yet the organics i've tried aren't so much worth trying. and i get the impression that most organics are forastero. know more about this, polarbear?

<<ce qui fait du bien au palais ne fait du mal à l'âme>>

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Martin Christy
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June 4, 2004 - 4:10 pm
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The main thing is most of their chocolate does not come from West Africa (Ivory Coast in particular), where most of the less attractive practices are going on.

A lot of flavor cacao could be organic - it is grown in a natural way and the growers anyway can't afford chemicals, just the certification is not so easy or cheap.

Conditions in Venezuela, where a good deal of Criollo comes from are 'better', if not ideal.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy
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June 4, 2004 - 4:42 pm
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You are right Alex - except Chocolate Society organic is definitely criollo or criollo blend, so this is why it is so different, and stands up against most of the best. And I wish I had some right now!

Martin Christy
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Lone Ly
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June 4, 2004 - 5:00 pm
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Actually the question of GMOs is also a question of responsibility. From a GMO knowing friend I've been told that one of the "negative" aspects is that there might be strong economic incentives towards developing countries to transform their food production according to GM interests. Fair trade is obviously one element that may prevent this.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
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Polarbear
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June 4, 2004 - 5:13 pm
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Pronatecs 71% and 59% are from a fair trade project in the Dominican Republic. I think they are trinitarios (they taste so), but do not remember where I read it. Green&Blacks are quite similar, produced in Beliza according to the wrapping.

G&B and Pronatec are very good im my opinion, although their darker taste differs from the very fruity ChocSoc.

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
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