Risk Management Reports

February, 1999
Volume 26, No. 2
At the end of January, I exhausted the supply of chocolate that arrives each year with Christmas. Sad and stuffed, I face eleven lean months using my own funds to feed my craving until the gift-giving season returns. Iíve worked my way through L. A. Burdick bars crammed with nuts, through Lindt and Scharffen Berger bittersweet, whose aroma and taste invoke the praise that accompanies fine wines. Iíve indulged with my favorite, Green & Blackís Organic Dark, "conched" from whole cocoa beans expressly grown in Togo for the company. Its 70% cocoa marks it as some of the finest plain chocolate in the world. I first bought it in London, then ordered it in case lots of 24 bars from a small shop in New York. Now a local environmental food store in Niantic feeds my habit.

Until this year, my chocoholic tendencies were accompanied by guilt, as I tried to refrain from the delicacy. But just after Christmas a fax arrived proclaiming: "We Are Saved! The Lord Has Spoken! Hallelujah!" It contained a news clipping from that dayís issue of The New York Times. I no longer hide my habit.

Apparently a research study of 7,841 Harvard male (why were women excluded?) graduates, made by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in The British Medical Journal, found that consumption of chocolate may extend oneís life! Of course, we chocoholics knew that but were unwilling to share this information with others for fear that the supply of this life- giving commodity would be in jeopardy and the price would rocket upwards. Now the secret is out. Chocolate apparently contains phenols, the same antioxidant chemicals found in wine that prevent fatty substances from oxidizing and clogging the arteries.

So doctors may now prescribe chocolate, at least for men. Company cafeterias can serve it daily, and risk managers can encourage its use. The risk of an expanded waistline is now more than offset by the benefit of a longer life! I am a believer!

Copyright 1999, by H. Felix Kloman and Seawrack Press, Inc.

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