Anti-Cocaine Efforts Irk Chocoholics | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Anti-Cocaine Efforts Irk Chocoholics

Interference in Peruvian cocoa farming leaves chocolate aficionados bitter.


Fiends want the 100% pure Peruvian stuff.
Photo via

By Bryan Le


| Share

Some unexpected new victims have been caught in the crossfire of the war on drugs: connoisseurs of fine chocolate. Looking to curb production of Peruvian cocaine, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) broke a semi-sweet deal with local cocoa farmers: if they stop planting coca—the native, low yield crop that's the main ingredient of cocaine—USAID will give them CCN-51, a high-yield and bulk-selling hybrid cocoa. But the decision to import genetically spliced cocoa has aggravated some chocolate makers: CCN-51 tends to have an acidic flavor and lacks the complex and subtle flavors connoisseurs crave, so many chocolatiers want Peruvian farmers to cultivate native Peruvian cocoa instead. While the pure native cocoa is lower yield and more susceptible to disease than CCN-51, it's market price is almost double: pure cocoa sells for $4000 per ton compared to just $2400 per ton for the hybrid version. “Peru is a country of fine, aromatic cocoa, and like all good things it comes in small quantities,” says Mariella Balbi, owner of a Guanni Chocolates. USAID says it could reconsider the bargain, and might encourage native cocoa production if it's best for Peru's futureand this may be the case as global demand grows for organic food. "USAID did a fine job developing an alternative crop with CCN-51, but times change. What people want changes," says Astrid Gutsche, pastry chef and wife of Peruvian food icon Gaston Acurio. "This idea of native cocoa is quite new and I believe it's the future for Peru. We have something that no one else has."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv