Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies are big in American celebrations of the holiday, just ask any kid under the age of 12.
And even though they have their origins in pagan observances and have nothing to do with the Bible’s story of Jesus’ resurrection, the cornerstone of the Christian faith, consumers likely pay little attention.
Now, however, there’s a new, really important, reason not to partake.
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh explained the earth-shaking discovery.
“Wacko news, predictable. Easter Sunday, part and parcel of Easter is the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts and Easter candy, chocolate covered rabbits – well, no, no. Chocolate in the shape of rabbits, you know, the Easter bunny candy,” he said Friday.
“And we have a story now from an environmentalist wacko group at the University of Manchester in England warning everybody: ‘Beware the chocolate Easter bunny, and those foil-wrapped chocolate eggs. Both could be ‘bad for the environment’ warns a new study, which says that such confections can damage the environment.'”
He said researchers at the University of Manchester in England have identified “the carbon footprint of chocolate and its other environmental impacts,” analyzing such factors as ingredients, manufacturing processes, packaging and waste.
“Yes, cow gas emissions are cited in the research, which was released Friday. The researchers estimate that the British chocolate industry alone produces about over 2 [million] tons of greenhouse gases a year,” Limbaugh said.
Obviously then, he said, people should not buy it this Easter.
“You are not to consume it. You are to leave it on the shelves. Otherwise you are contributing to global warming. Aimed at young kids. This is how they do it.”
Science Daily reported more about the study, asking, “Is your Easter egg bad for the environment?”
The report said the study, in Food Research International, described the environmental impact as “equivalent to the annual emissions of the whole population of a city as large as Belfast. It also found that it takes around 1000 litres of water to produce just one chocolate bar.”
The report said the chocolate industry in the U.K. is in excess of $4 billion annually and growing quickly, since chocolate is its favorite confectionary product.
“On average each person individually gets through approximately 8 kilograms per year, which is equivalent to around 157 Mars bars,” the report said.
“The researchers found the raw materials used to produce chocolate are the major environmental hotspot as well as the packaging. The impacts from the ingredients are mainly due to milk powder, cocoa derivatives, sugar and palm oil.”
A spokesman said: “The point of this study is to raise consumers’ awareness and enable more informed choices. Also, we hope this work will help the chocolates industry to target the environmental hotspots in the supply chains and make chocolate products as sustainable as possible.”