“Now, if you haven’t already put the cacao in your mouth, do so now.”
I placed the tiny, fragmented bean in my mouth. Unbeknownst to I, the technically edible foodstuff was Mother Nature’s last horcrux, whose apparent mission was to instigate on-sight beef with my fourth sense and leave behind my ravaged taste-buds as casualties of war. My immediate reaction was similar to that of a legend, icon, and superstar that my generation should be familiar with:
I felt personally attacked. I immediately wolfed down a few peanut M&Ms from my backpack to rid my mouth of the bitter sensation of the ingredient that was also apparently in the M&Ms. In my moment of extreme (but not uncommon) melodrama, my friend turned to me and said, “Girl, calm down.”
She was right. After class ended, I reflected on the cacao and M&Ms and realized I was privileged to even be tasting the hard work of countless workers who will never have the ability to taste what I had just tasted. In watching the video that was presented, it astounded me realizing that the workers who cracked open cacao pods everyday never had the opportunity to taste chocolate until then.
Because it was too expensive.
I was so quick to choose M&Ms over cacao, when the Global South continues to experience the impacts of colonialism that renders them unable to choose what foods they want; all of this, so the Global North can benefit from their efforts that they reap few benefits from. In looking at the food in my pantry, so much of it is produced by people who could never afford it. What can we do in our everyday lives to bring awareness to the conditions that allow us to choose, while those in the Global South cannot?