Crank the presses for these two vital pieces of information:
One: Calories consumed for charity do not count! And this is especially true for calories obtained from chocolate-based treats, when, of course, they are consumed for charity.
Two: If you eat a lot of chocolate, you are more likely to win a Nobel Prize. Let’s face it: The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other nation. And they win the most Nobel Prizes per capita! Surely there is a connection.
Now, I admit swallowing these “facts” might take a bit of an imaginative stretch. Nonetheless, I also say that the consumption of chocolate is one of humanity’s greatest gustatory pleasures.
Chocolate, like so many other pleasurable food sources, has been alternately demonized and angelized (I think I just made up that word) over the years.
When I was growing up, teens were routinely told not to eat chocolate because it would cause ugly pimples to pop up everywhere. I so remember some of my early teen friends returning from a despairing trip to the dermatologist with this instruction: “Never eat chocolate again if you want clear skin.”
Of course, it didn’t work, and eventually that claim was disproved. Right at the moment, chocolate is, in its “angelized” state, being touted as a health food and mood elevator. It probably won’t be long before it makes one of the essential food groups for nutritional health.
Think about the history of some of our favorite foods. For years, eggs were almost completely persona non grata. We were told that tasteless egg whites were the only safe way to ingest these deadly objects.
Now, whole eggs have made a strong comeback as scientists suggest that the cholesterol eaten in eggs doesn’t generally end up raising cholesterol blood levels.
Saturated fat, another substance found in many animal products and equally as demonized these days, is poised to make its own return.
If you don’t believe me, check out the writings on Paleo (as in Paleolithic times) eating plans.
Today, sugar (unless it is in chocolate consumed for charity, of course!), especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, is starting to wear the “demon” label. Evidence suggests now that excess sugar (unless it is in chocolate consumed for charity) is almost immediately stored as fat.
Possibly in the near future, wheat may take over the spot as the worst food around (unless it is found in chocolate consumed for charity!).
Why? Because all the wheat we eat now is genetically modified. Our bodies may not have adapted yet to digest it properly. So some researchers say wheat consumption leads to all sorts of health ills.
And I admit it: I’ve bought into it and am completely gluten- and grain-free these days — and yes, it has helped.
But let us leave behind these sad food predicaments and get back to the luscious thoughts of chocolate.
Breathe deeply, remembering the enticing odor of chocolate brownies coming out of the oven. Mentally take a moment and lick the beaters after whipping up a homemade chocolate cake. Let the texture of smooth, creamy, freshly made homemade fudge melt in your mouth.
Pretty good, huh? OK, I now shamelessly invite you to the fourth annual Chocolate Festival at Krum First United Methodist Church, 1001 E. McCart St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
For a $20 ticket, you get 12 luscious samples of chocolate, and one ticket can be shared with several people.
My friends even tell me that both sugar-free and gluten-free delicacies will abound. And for those who do need their dose of saturated fat, rumor has it that chocolate-dipped bacon can be found.
Every penny made goes right back out the door to support agencies that relieve suffering in this immediate area and around the world.
Remember, calories eaten for charity don’t count!
See you on the 27th.
THE REV. CHRISTY THOMAS is the pastor of First United Methodist Church of Krum. Reach her by calling 940-482-3482 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .