I know it’s been a while since my last Oompa Loompa update (a couple of months, actually), but I assure you I haven’t forgotten about the little guys … how could I? Without chocolate, there’d be no chocolate chips. And without chocolate chips, there’d be no chocolate chip cookies. And without chocolate chip cookies, there’d be a world-wide protest! I know – because I’d be leading the charge against the capitalistic chocolatiers who prevented the oompa loompas from unionizing and kept them away from the cocoa beans they live to process into yummy, oh-so-yummy, dark chocolate chips!
Anyway, it’s been a rough year for those poor little guys, and it doesn’t look like it’s letting up. They’ve had tough times with Hershey closing its last Canadian factory, confusing times with Cadbury telling them that they are synonymous with the color purple, rough times with Cadbury laying off thousands, and an uncertain future with Campbell looking to drop Godiva‘s like a hot potato. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kraft has to recall white chocolate due to another case of salmonella contamination (which follows Cadbury’s admission that its “new” testing system allowed for “safe” levels of salmonella in its products*).
But the bad news doesn’t stop there! Earlier this month, CNNMoney.com reported that Hershey’s CEO is retiring at the end of the year. During his six year tenure, Richard Lenny shutdown six U.S. and Canadian plants and cut more than 3,000 workers. Just imagine how much harder the axe is going to swing when a younger, stronger, more eager CEO gets put in the top spot!
And if the salmonella contamination at Cadbury and Kraft wasn’t enough to turn people off of heavenly chocolate goodness and onto eternal damnation carob, there’s this story that would make even the most fearless Fear Factor contestant cringe. Those Ferrero Rocher chocolates you’re eating right now could be counterfeit chocolates made in China that have been found to contain worms, moths, and larvae. Now I know that chocolate covered ants might be a delicacy in the brazilian rain forest, some insectivores think crickets go good in chocolate chip cookies, and boys will eat worms on a dare – but moths? I don’t think that even the most desperate coke addict would want to snuff that powder! Bad China! Bad, Bad China! I can forgive your lead paint Thomas, your melamine dog food, and your diethylene glycol toothpaste – but mess with my chocolate, and I’ll boycott you!
* Salmonella is safe if you’re already dead!