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Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, the Parish Priest of Christ The King Catholic Church has joined the ongoing national campaign to encourage the consumption of chocolate and cocoa products with a powerful personal story of how his consistent consumption of cocoa powder has made him virtually immune to malaria in over three decades.
“I’ve been taking cocoa powder for the past 30 years. This morning I already had two mugs of cocoa. I do that every day; I take two, three, four mugs of cocoa every day”, the Reverend Father said in a video released as part of the National Chocolate Week celebration.
The good Father went on to state that, he had had malaria only once in the 30 years he has been taking cocoa powder, and that singular case of malaria came after he failed to drink cocoa for a week.
“I’ve had malaria once in those 30 years and that was because I didn’t take my cocoa for one week, and I got malaria,” Rev. Fr. Campbell said. “I got it once in over thirty years and I attribute that to the cocoa powder I take.”
The National Chocolate Week celebration began on the 8th of February and ends on the 14th of February. It is under the theme: Eat Chocolate; Stay Healthy; Grow Ghana. The week is packed with activities to encourage the consumption of chocolate confectionery, beverages, and chocolate-infused dishes even beyond the period of the celebration.
Rev. Fr. Campbell in the video went on to credit cocoa with other positive health outcomes he has experienced over the years, including maintaining a healthy blood pressure even in his advance age.
“I’m 75 years old next month,” he said. “My blood pressure today was 119 over 69, and for a man of 75, it’s a blessing.”
“When I was doing my research on chocolate and cocoa, it said chocolate and cocoa powder reduces blood pressure; reduces cholesterol; it prevents heart attack and stroke; it improves moods; it contains anti-oxidants; it’s the best drink before bed for a good night’s sleep; it improves your skin health, your mood and your hair.”
Similarly, the Most Rev. Paul K. Boafo, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, who calls himself a proud son of a cocoa farmer, also recounted how cocoa seeds were regularly incorporated into the family meals due to their nutritional benefits.
“Growing up as a young boy in the Western Region, following my father to the cocoa farm, we would even us the little seeds as a form of food in our stew. We will pluck it, boil it, grind, and it will be part of the stew because of its nutritional value,” he recalled.
“Chocolate comes from our cash crop cocoa, which our farmers have cultivated all these years and it has a lot of value for us. Apart from the money it brings to us.”
“It is known to solve a lot of heart conditions and that is why I will recommend it to each and every one of us as Ghanaians to be drinking cocoa and to be eating chocolate. I would also recommend to all institutions that we would prefer cocoa drinks to other drinks that are served in our institutions and in schools, the Most Rev. Boafo stated.
The general public is encouraged to celebrate the National Chocolate Week with bars of chocolate, cocoa beverages, and chocolate-infused dishes and share photos and videos of their chocolate moments using the hashtags: #EatGhChocolate #GhChocolateWeek #GhChocolateReigns #EatChocolateStayHealthyGrowGhana
The Chocolate City at the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange also opened on 10 February. For the next five (5) days various media organisations and chocolatiers will be present to encourage the patrons to share their Chocolate Moments on digital platforms and win prizes.
The National Chocolate Week is being organised through the collaborative effort of COCOBOD, the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, cocoa processing companies and other stakeholders in the cocoa industry.
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