A liking for chocolate isn’t exactly uncommon — some may say it’s a wonder that an organization dedicated to the sweet treat didn’t come around sooner.
Adora Faluade, a sophmore majoring in biomedical science, found this just as surprising and took it upon herself to form the USF Chocolateers Club.
“My friends always got me chocolate for birthdays and Valentine’s Day, and it’s something that makes people feel better,” Faluade said. “I was looking around and saw that UCF had a chocolate club, but USF didn’t.”
But it’s not just about eating chocolate — Faluade hopes to shatter the common misconceptions about chocolate, bring awareness of its benefits and participate in service activities with the club.
“We’ll be handing out bags of chocolate to the children at Moffitt, doing skits for them, and going to soup kitchens,” Faluade said.
In addition to that, club members will discuss the impact of chocolate on fashion, art, the environment and the ways in which it’s used throughout different cultures.
“Some people think it’s just a little treat to have, but a lot of people don’t know that it can be used in different ways,” said Stephanie Gato, a sophomore majoring in marine biology and vice president of the Chocolateers Club. “Even giving someone a piece of chocolate who’s not feeling well can brighten up their day.”
Beyond just releasing a few neurotransmitters to make one feel fuzzy and happy, members of the club said research indicates dark chocolate may reduce the risk of a heart attack, help people with chronic fatigue syndrome and decrease blood pressure.
“I know a nutritionist who always recommends it before exercising,” said Pretti Singh, a sophomore majoring in biomedical science and the club’s secretary.
Despite the Chocolateers Club’s exploration of the health and medical benefits of chocolate, Singh suggests the club is an organization for anyone interested in food, culture, volunteer opportunities or simply the consumption of chocolate.
“It’s more of a leisure club,” Singh said. “It’s really fun and not so academic, so you get to have some down time.”
A lot of the club’s activities and events will be centered around eating chocolate, and members hope to make their own batches and visit surrounding chocolatiers and factories to watch the chocolate making process in action.
The club has gathered about 30 members and its first meeting is scheduled for Sept. 3, with meetings on the first Wednesday of every month. Those in attendance can expect a contest in which they’ll have to guess the number of M&Ms in a jar, with prizes given at the following meeting.
The Chocolateers Club will also host Destination Chocolate on Wednesday. The event will feature four chocolate treats from different countries, a chocolate themed personality quiz and a photo booth. Destination Chocolate will be held in the Marshall Student Center room 3705 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Faluade still hopes through the club, she can help others realize the impact and importance of the much-loved dessert.
“That’s what (the club) is about — showing people the value of chocolate,” she said. “It’s not just a candy.”