Chocolate enriches lives
Published: Thursday, December 15, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2011 21:12
Pat Clements remembers chocolate gifts.
When Shaun Labreque would go trick-or-treating he'd always look for certain items.
The first thing he'd say to himself was, "Where's the Reese's; where's the chocolate?"
"And if there were king size chocolate bars [I'd go] back for sure," Labreque said.
Maybe that is a major reason he is a manager at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. He has fond memories of other experiences with chocolate. When he was a kid he'd think, "Where's my chocolate Easter Bunny?"
He said: "I would go back and forth. One year I would like the milk chocolate, and the next year I'd say give me the white chocolate. But now I'm a milk chocolate person."
Now Labreque's passion chocolate centers on one main item.
"I think peanut butter and chocolate is one of the greatest inventions ever," he said.
Chocolate enriches our sense of well-being
Like Labreque, many people find chocolate a significant part of their lives, past and present. This might be due to the fact chocolate makes many people feel good. Research shows that chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, which is the same chemical your body produces when you are in love.
"Chocolate has some very interesting characteristics, among them is that is promotes the endorphins in your brain, which actually makes you feel good," said Marc Purles, president and CEO of Amber Lyn Chocolates, a local chocolate manufacturer. "It's been likened to a feeling of being in love. So I think there are actually some substances in chocolate that give us this feeling of well-being."
Even for those who don't like chocolate, it is easy to see how it brings cheer to others.
Brock Graham, who works at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory said: "Just being around chocolate you'll see how it affects people's lives on a daily basis because people come in and you see that they're having a bad day, and when they leave the store their demeanor has totally changed. I love being a part of that. I know it sounds corny, but it's bringing positivity into people's lives."
Chocolate enriches our relationships
Along with providing a sense of individual well-being, chocolate can benefit relationships by being the ideal gift. Anciently chocolate presented to royalty, warriors and explorers was considered a gift of the gods. Chocolate has a special meaning when given to cheer someone up or to show favor and engender warm feelings. What would Valentine's Day be without chocolate? Think about the chocolate given to children at Easter. Many holiday traditions center on the use of chocolate in symbols or gifts.
Combined with its many awesome chemical properties, chocolate is a special gift most women appreciate. It is legendary as the gift of lovers.
Amy MacDonald, a senior majoring in integrated studies from St. George, said that chocolate has a positive effect on her marriage because it helps her cheer up.
"I get [chocolate] when I'm in a bad mood because my husband thinks it'll put me in a good mood," she said. "It always works."