HEALTH: Essential Benefit Of Cocoa Products

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Thousands of people use Cocoa products, such as body cream, drink cocoa beverages and eat chocolates, yet don’t know the raw material which chocolate products are derived or how a Cocoa pod or bean looks like.

A journalist holding a Cocoa pod stops few people to see if they can find out what it is. Nobody was able to say what it was. Some said pawpaw and one said mango, that’s shocking because there is a big difference between mango and a Cocoa pod.

Ivory Coast is the leading country in West Africa producing 1.6 million tons of cocoa beans every year, making the country the world’s largest exporter, followed by Ghana. Other countries in Africa where Cocoa is grown is Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which together represent more than 70% of world cocoa production.

In Africa Cocoa is also produced in Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome & Principe. Every year thousands tons of Cocoa beans are exported to Europe and America, which are processed to different consumer products, such chocolate bars, cosmetic products and drinks.

Cocoa trees begin to bear fruit when they are three to four years old, seldom reaching more than 7.5 meters (25 feet) high. There are two harvests in a year when the fruit is ripe. A split Cocoa pod, has the beans embedded in a soft white-jelly sweet tissue, which are dried in the sun. During fermentation the pulp which becomes a liquid drains away leaving behind the beans.

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Cocoa beans used to manufacture cocoa drinks, chocolate, body creams, soaps and body lotions.

The dried beans become raw material for the manufacture of Cocoa products such as chocolate, fertilizer for cocoa, vegetables, food crops, soft drinks, alcohol, Jam, marmalade and other products. It is also widely used in cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams and soaps. In the picture is a full and half pods of Cocoa with fresh beans, when the beans are dry, from which chocolate is derived.

There are many Health benefits of consuming Cocoa Products, following the discovery that they are a rich source of catechins, which are polyphenols of the flavanol group, and which are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, and various other medical conditions.On the skin, Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants, which help fight free radical, that is stresses and signs of aging. Women, especially Africans claim that Cocoa butter help to reduce stretch marks.

King Leopold: The Butcher Of Congo

New African News Magazine’s editor, Baffour Ankomah reviews author Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost. 

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Only 90 years ago, the agents of King Leopold II of Belgium massacred 10 million Africans in the Congo. Cutting off hands as we see in Sierra Leone today, was very much part of Leopold’s repertoire. Today, Leopold’s “rubber terror” has all been swept under the carpet. Adam Hochschild calls it “the great forgetting” in his brilliant new book, King Leopold’s Ghost, recently published by Macmillan. This is a story of greed, exploitation and brutality that Africa and the world must not forget.

This story is actually best understood when told in reverse order. Leopold never set foot in “his” Congo Free State – for all the 23 years (1885-1908) he ruled what Hochschild calls “the world’s only colony claimed by one man”.

It was a vast territory which “if superimposed on the map of Europe”, says Hochschild, “would stretch from Zurich to Moscow to central Turkey. It was bigger than England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy combined. Although mostly rainforest and savannah, it also embraced volcanic hills and mountains covered by snow and glaciers, some of whose peaks reached higher than the Alps.”

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King Leopold’s crime in images.

Leopold’s “rubber terror” raised a lot of hairs in Britain, America and continental Europe (particularly between the years 1900-1908). But while they were condemning Leopold’s barbarity, his accusers were committing much the same atrocities against Africans elsewhere on the continent.

Hochschild tells it better: “True, with a population loss estimated at 10 million people, what happened in the Congo could reasonably be called the most murderous part of the European Scramble for Africa. But that is so only if you look at sub-Saharan Africa as the arbitrary checkerboard formed by colonial boundaries.

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Holding hacked off wrists, brutality by King Leopold.

“With a decade of [Leopold’s] head start [in the Congo], similar forced labour systems for extracting rubber were in place in the French territories west and north of the Congo River, in Portuguese-ruled Angola, and in the nearby Cameroon under the Germans.

Joel Savage: The First African Journalist To Investigate The High Death Rate Of Africans In Antwerp’s Notorious Stuivenberg Hospital

https://joelsavage1.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/joel-savage-the-first-african-journalist-to-investigate-the-high-death-rate-of-africans-in-antwerps-notorious-stuivenberg-hospital/