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Tonight! Refuse the Truffle Shuffle

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You’re probably already sick of reading about Noise Pop, so let’s talk instead about chocolate: currency, status symbol, and obesity propellent. But even milk chocolate has a dark side, which tonight’s FREE Kitchen Table Talks at Viracocha will spotlight.


Not dignified

It’s hard to maintain one’s dignity while scarfing down Dove Promises, that fabled menstruation medicine of the goddesses, melting all over one’s fingers and the corners of one’s mouth, two days before bleeding profusely from one’s crotch (sorry, XY folks). But this event, called “Chocolate with Dignity,” might help some of us hold our heads high after devouring 1.5 pounds of it from Costco.

It used to be that anyone who didn’t like chocolate was considered a super-weirdo (hi, daughter of my Brownie troop leader!), but its social, economic, and environmental impact is convincing more and more people to think carefully about their choice of aphrodisiac. Cacao, the bean from which chocolate is made, grows mainly in the tropics, where millions of families — even child slaves in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cacao exporter — languish in poverty. Meanwhile, companies like Hershey’s and our own Ghirardelli pull the strings and reap the rewards. But you don’t have to start settling for carob: Options such as fair trade and profit sharing are coming to the fore.

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Tonight’s talks include chocolate experts, chocolate activists, chocolate chefs, and chocolate teachers as well as a clip from Slavery: A Global Investigation, which examines the role of slavery in the chocolate industry. As for me, I’ll stick to burritos. THERE’S NO SLAVERY IN BURRITOS.

Kitchen Table Talks: Chocolate with Dignity at Viracocha
998 Valencia St. at 21st St. [The Mission]
Tuesday, February 22, 6:45pm
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Sarah M. Smart - Red-Light Special

Sarah M. Smart - Red-Light Special

Sarah M. Smart was summoned into being on a distant ice cream planet
through an unholy union of Two-Buck Chuck and unicorns. They sent her to Indianapolis and then the University of Missouri's School of Journalism
to spread peace and big hair. Perpetually in mourning for the comma, she
has worked for a variety of print media, including Indianapolis
, Global Journalist, and Vox. Since moving
to San Francisco for the booming dumpster-diving scene, she has been an
online operative for such fine folks as , Neo-Factory, and
Academy of Art University. After a day of cat-feeding, hat-making,
dog-walking, vegan baking, and daydreaming about marrying rich, all she
wants is a margarita as big as her face.


  1. February 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    uhhh.. in that picture above, are they bathing in chocolate or lady blood?

    • February 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      Good question. It’s supposed to be chocolate, but they do weird things in Asia, so it’s hard to say for sure.