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The Main Reasons for Stop Buying Cocoa Essay

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Updated: May 24th, 2021

Today, in the era of materialism, people tend to buy and consume different products. In the majority of cases, they discover only positive sides of commodities. For example, cocoa can boost your levels of energy, make you happier, and taste delicious. In turn, people also see only the positive sides of chocolate, as it is one of the most popular snacks worldwide. However, they rarely consider that cocoa may also have disadvantages. I believe that the production of cocoa has to be strictly monitored because it affects human health and leads to child labor in West Africa. Therefore, people should follow the Cocoa Protocol to stop the practice of child labor. I am sure that you did not examine cocoa sales from this perspective and mostly viewed it as a sweet beverage to have during your Christmas break. With the help of ethos, pathos, and logos, I will try to persuade you to think twice before buying this commodity.

Ethos and Logos: Negative Effects on Health

As it was mentioned earlier, people mostly use cocoa or chocolate to become cheerful and enjoy the taste of this snack, but doctors claim that chocolate has negative effects on health. For example, medical scholars state that cocoa can cause “pruritus, rashes, rhinorrhea, and asthma” (Squicciarini & Swinnen, 2016, p. 149). Along with that, many specialists believe that consuming a lot of chocolate will lead to obesity and overweight. For example, according to Greenberg et al. (2016), the women who consume chocolate three times a week tend to gain more weight than those who eat it once a week.

In this case, eating chocolate regularly will lead to obesity and overweight, and these medical conditions have severe consequences such as diabetes, high levels of sugar, and problems with heart (heart attacks and heart failure). Additionally, dentists also see a threat in the regular consumption of chocolate, as it can be discovered as one of the causes of the dental cavity (Squicciarini & Swinnen, 2016). It seems that doctors and scholars want to show that consuming cocoa and chocolate is not as healthy as it is advertised to be. If I were you, I would carefully evaluate my decision before buying chocolate, as there is an array of negative health outcomes that cover different systems of the body, and, consequently, I believe that the production of cocoa has to be strictly monitored.

Pathos and Logos: Illegal Child Labor

Nonetheless, cocoa is not only associated with negative health consequences but also raises ethical issues since its production is often suspected in illegal child labor. It is one of the major problems in West Africa. The leaders in chocolate production promised to stop heavily relying on it, but it seems that nothing changed (O’Keefe, 2016). For example, according to research, 2.1 million children still work in these factories and manufacturing plants in West Africa (O’Keefe, 2016). They have to experience severe working conditions, work extra hours, and get very low salaries. Instead of getting an appropriate education, they have to carry heavy baskets with cocoa beans and spend days at work.

Ibrahim unveils some of these factors to the reporters of Fortune Magazine, and he is only fifteen years old but already works all the time to help his family (O’Keefe, 2016). Often, children like Ibrahim are forced to work, and they are paid nothing for extra hours (O’Keefe, 2016). In one of the interviews, one of the boys even said: “they are enjoying something that I suffered to make, they are eating my flesh” when describing his relationship with the employers (O’Keefe, 2016, para. 5). This story seems to be highly devastating, don’t you think so? When so many children are forced to work at cocoa production plants for no payment, I will think before buying chocolate because I do not want to raise demands for it and contribute to someone’s suffering.

Pathos and Logos: The Cocoa Protocol

To deal with the issues of child labor mentioned above, the Cocoa Protocol was created, but it has some gaps, and, as a consequence, child labor is still one of the severe problems. In 2001, this campaign started under the “No child slavery” slogan and was focused on ensuring that chocolates and other related products sold in the U.S. market were ethical (Slave Free Chocolate, 2015). Today, eight global cocoa and chocolate producers signed this protocol while also underlining the significance of this problem to the representatives of the Ivory Coast (Slave Free Chocolate, 2015). In this case, this protocol was able to resolve the issues related to illegal child labor because the companies were eager to design new strategies to make the production process more ethical. These ideas solved some of the issues or made them less intense.

Nevertheless, apart from having positive intentions, the protocol had some gaps. For example, it did not provide any information about acceptable working hours or the minimum age of employment (Slave Free Chocolate, 2015). Subsequently, the lack of these clarifications makes the problem of child labor more intense, as, now, 2.1 million West African children continue working in a severe environment, do not have a balanced schedule, and are beaten at work (O’Keefe, 2016). Until this protocol is fully revised, it is unreasonable to buy cocoa and related products. Purchasing them leads to higher demands and, subsequently, to more and more children illegally employed in West Africa. In this case, before making a purchase, you should think about possible consequences and, maybe, you would change your mind.

Conclusion

In the end, this essay explained that buying some commodities such as chocolate and cocoa might be associated with not only negative effects on health but also with an adverse influence on the social environment. In the context of this essay, I want to show that precise monitoring of cocoa production is essential, as its major consequences are negative effects on human health and child labor in West Africa. I believe that it is necessary to follow the Cocoa Protocol to diminish the practice of child labor. Thus, to support my opinion, I used a combination of ethos, logos, and pathos. I suggest that one of the solutions to this problem is to redesign the Cocoa Protocol. It should cover important aspects such as the number of working hours and minimum working age. Additionally, it has to propose some strategies to decrease violence at work. I believe that making these adjustments will help improve the current situation. However, until these enhancements are made, it is unhealthy and purely unethical to buy chocolate. If I were you, I would consider healthier alternatives such as granola bars. Consequently, after reading these statements, would you still consider buying chocolate at a supermarket, or would you think twice before making this purchase?

References

Greenberg, J., Manson, J., Buijsse, B., Wang, L., Allison, W., Neuhouser, M., … Thompson, C. (2016). Chocolate-candy consumption and three-year weight gain among postmenopausal U.S. women. Obesity, 23(3), 677-683.

O’Keefe, B. (2016). Inside big chocolate’s child labor problem. Fortune. Web.

Slave Free Chocolate. (2015). Web.

Squicciarini, M., & Swinnen, J. (2016). The Economics of chocolate. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.

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"The Main Reasons for Stop Buying Cocoa." IvyPanda, 24 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-main-reasons-for-stop-buying-cocoa/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Main Reasons for Stop Buying Cocoa." May 24, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-main-reasons-for-stop-buying-cocoa/.


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IvyPanda. "The Main Reasons for Stop Buying Cocoa." May 24, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-main-reasons-for-stop-buying-cocoa/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Main Reasons for Stop Buying Cocoa." May 24, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-main-reasons-for-stop-buying-cocoa/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Main Reasons for Stop Buying Cocoa'. 24 May.

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