thanks donna for bringing me down to earth on the matter of cacao. here's an excerpt from the email penned by raw foodist Paul Nison:
One of the biggest deceptions in the raw food movement is that cacao is a healthy food. It is very addicting and toxic to the body. I have written two articles on the subject that you can view by clicking here. Don’t feel bad, I myself was once deceived by it as well, but after conducting my own research, I found the truth. It is not needed in the diet and I suggest avoiding it. Brian Clement of Hippocrates Health Institute has also confirmed it is a very toxic food. Also another thing I have learned is that there is no such thing as truly Raw Cacao. Once it is processed, it is cooked. Only the beans by themselves are raw. Eating these beans raw is just as crazy as eating raw coffee beans. Many of the people who sell cacao are good hearted people who are just not aware of the harm it does. However, there are a few people who are very aware of the issue with cacao but make so much money selling it, that they continue to promote it as a super food. Some of these people even make a religion out of it, calling themselves cacao gods. I would definitely avoid anything these people promote, especially cacao. I understand many people have cravings for chocolate and I would suggest carob as a healthy alternative.
Okay, i have tried carob and although i know it is supposed to be much healthier, i just don't like the taste. i also have to disagree with Paul's claim that there is no truly raw cacao. Scott Fry of Loving Earth is working with communities in South America to produce cacao that is processed using no heating method whatever.