Cadmium and Lead in My Chocolate? Oh My

 My journey with dark chocolate started a number of years ago with a desperately whispered prayer. As I lay on the sofa, a half-eaten Easter Bunny in hand, (not the live kind…I’m not that bad) and a tub of ice cream resting on my stomach, I said this to God. 

“Please! Help me get off the sugar wagon!”

I knew I needed some kind of 12-step program, because I was the type of addict that would knock you over the head and steal your bag of Halloween candy. And I was tired of putting my kids in that kind of danger.

After some time passed, an odd thing began to happen. (Bear with me if you’ve heard this story. I sense some eye-rolling from siblings and friends.) I started to break out in hives. At first, there were just a few. But as the weeks passed, I started to look like this guy.

This went on for some months and the list of foods causing the hives continued to grow. Apples, (organic were fine) strawberries, fish, shrimp, and sometimes nothing. As Thanksgiving approached, I was feeling desperate. I called my cousin Sue, our resident expert on all things food related. 

“You’re not going to like this,” she said. “Your body’s reaction has nothing to do with those foods. You’re going to have to give up sugar and wheat. Maybe a few other grains.” She sensed my hesitation and…okay…my complete disbelief. “Just try it.” So I did. In one week, no more hives. 

It took a few months for me to realize that I was finally off sugar. And had no brain fog. And felt great. But still, I cast a few dark looks at the sky. “Ha ha, very funny,” I said. But the joke was on me. Still, it ended up being worth it. And eventually, I found my way to dark chocolate. I’m talking 85% dark. The reeeaaaally healthy stuff. Or so I thought. (So we all thought, right?) I’ve been living in denial about the latest chocolate news because I’m good at that. But when they finally announced the problem on CBC, I could no longer kid myself. I’ve been eating three or four squares a day for years. YEARS! This explains a few things.

When I go through airport security, I take my boots off. My pockets are empty. I carry nothing but a kind heart and a benign smile for the airport staff. And yet I set off the gatey thing that checks for bombs almost every time. Did it not occur to one of those people to say, “OMG, this woman is packed with cadmium and lead! ” I would have really appreciated the heads up. I mean, I take really good care of myself. I eat kale all the time! So now I have to pray, ‘Dear God, get me off the chocolate wagon,’ and only She knows if there is a decent substitute out there. (Please don’t say carob. It is disgusting.)

I’m open to ideas, people. While I wait on God for her next practical joke, I need some ideas that don’t include artificial sweeteners (except stevia) and recipes that don’t involve wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, or any of those ‘we’re the original wheat’ things like Millet. I can do small quantities of rice flour and corn flour, but I still get a belly ache, even though I like to pretend I don’t. 

If you don’t have any ideas, that’s okay. Just allow me this very pouty blog post. (Especially on Valentine’s Day with a deceased husband, no chocolate, and according to recent, depressing studies, alcohol recently added to the naughty list.  Thankfully I will be zooming with friends shortly and can whine to them while enjoying a cup of tea with a wedge of cheese. (Please don’t give me bad news about dairy. Leave me something.) 

And if you decide to comment, please don’t try to argue with me about God. I get that most people think the Creator is a guy, but it just doesn’t ring true for me. God is not a person. And frankly, if someone was going to birth the world, only females would have the guts to say, ‘Yeah, I think I can take that on.’ Jesus was a man…I’ll give you that. And I love Him too, so, let’s hope he weighs in on my current problem. I’ll inform you all as soon as I hear back. It will probably be something darkly comedic, but good for me in the end. And all I can say is, Amen to that.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

2 thoughts on “Cadmium and Lead in My Chocolate? Oh My

  1. I have the perfect answer my beautiful friend. Sweet friendships… In all honesty my heart aches for you and all those allergies…chips maybe? Oh…a maybe a wee glass of wine.. with us… it won’t be long


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