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Chocolate as a currency | Jacqueline Biollo, MBA, ICD.D

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Some people are motivated, inspired, gratified, or even envious by what money can buy. A sense of entitlement, recognition, or self-worth becomes part of the financial equation. The shopping list of things you could acquire as a testament to your hard work or efforts. For others, however, there is the reality that even the bare necessities are out of reach due to situations and circumstances (monetary loss, bankruptcy, unemployment, medical bills, legal fees, etc.). 

But even with all the money in the world, statistics have shown that many are still not happy, satisfied, or fulfilled. Others, like lottery winners or day traders, or those who have come into substantial amounts of money through an inheritance or legal settlement, are often unprepared or lack the financial literacy skills to make strategic and sustainable decisions with their money. Often spending it on luxury items that depreciate over time instead of making investments that could appreciate.

That’s why I prefer to use chocolate as a currency. This was a reality during the 1900s BC when cocoa beans served as a barter currency for the exchange of food and clothing. But the only bartering I’m doing now is with myself… “I can have a piece of chocolate if I finish the deliverable I’ve been working on, or similar.” 

According to science, and not the bank, the value (or worth) of chocolate is rooted in not only how it makes you feel but what it is made of. Agree to disagree if you don’t love chocolate as I do – but chocolate makes me happy – and I’m led to understand that chocolate contains chemicals that transmit hormone responses to your brain, causing you to not only crave chocolate but increases your heart rate and brings about feelings of happiness.

Now, of course, there’s a downside to chocolate, just like there is to making poor financial decisions, whether it’s the high fat and sugar content, or its association with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. But everything in moderation, right?

So, consider these tips to help you enjoy chocolate while understanding and appreciating the value of its currency:

  • In certain situations, chocolate has power! (Think: ‘Negotiating with a chocoholic’.)
  • The quantity and quality of chocolate will impact the end result.
  • Regardless of your bartering skills, in today’s environment, money makes the world go round

Chocolate has long been considered a delicacy for the elite. Treat yourself as such, and enjoy the power and satisfaction of this unique currency.


Jacqueline Biollo is a self-professed chocolate connoisseur. She’ll eat chocolate cake for breakfast (for the milk, eggs, and flour ingredients, of course) and choose milk chocolate over dark chocolate (even though research states that dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa has more health benefits). Jacqueline has a food sensitivity to chocolate and hazelnuts, and she especially enjoys that ‘melt in your mouth’ feeling you get from an Aero bar, in particular.

Photo by Ivy Jane Photography

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