Chocolate
The chocolate candy industry continues to be plagued by grave issues of child labour and human trafficking.

Chocolate as we know today is very different from what is used to be in the 16th century.

Back then, chocolate only existed in Mesoamerica. A TED-Ed video explains why "Not everything about chocolate is sweet, including its history.”

The Mesoamericans, who believed that cacao or the cocoa beans was a gift from a serpent god, consumed chocolate in the form of a "bitter, invigorating drink" - the cocoa beans were first ground and then mixed with chilli peppers and cornmeal.  

In fact, so valued were the beans that they were used as currency or even given as reward to soldiers.

And then in 1591, the first transatlantic chocolate encounter occurred with cacao reaching Spain.

As chocolate soon turned into a popular product, the demand for it also grew. Harvesting chocolate is a difficult process and slaves were used in its production.

The chocolate candy industry is worth $100 billion today and continues to be plagued by grave issues of child labour and human trafficking.

It was around 1900 that chocolate became a product no longer restricted to the elites. Several significant inventions, like separating cocoa butter and adding milk powder to it, along with its portrayal in popular culture, only helped to increase its popularity. 

 
The history of chocolate

Not everything about chocolate is sweet, including its history:

Posted by TED-Ed on Thursday, 16 March 2017