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5 uses for chocolate (other than food)

Bizarre chocolate uses

Hard as it is to believe, chocolate is used for more than just eating!
Ever heard the expression “As useful as a milk chocolate teapot”?

The joke is that nobody would want to use milk chocolate to make a teapot, because it would melt as soon as you put any tea in it. However, it turns out that over years people have used chocolate for many more things than just eating.
For instance:
Photo by SuperFantastic on Flickr

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

At first glance this might seem like an idea up there with chocolate teapots. After all, nobody’s dentist ever told them to eat more sweets. But it’s true! According to researcher Arman Sadeghpour at Tulane University an extract of cocoa powder found in chocolate could be an effective alternative to using fluoride in toothpaste. In fact, if Sadeghpour’s research is correct, the cocoa extract works even better than fluoride when it comes to fighting cavities.
Photo by nicubunu.photo on Flickr

As Legal Tender

Even more popular than “As useful as a chocolate teapot” is the expression “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” Except that once upon a time it did. The ancient civilisation believed to have first discovered chocolate, The Mayans, actually used cocoa beans as money. It was a habit the Astecs picked up as well, even paying their taxes in cacao.
Photo by futureatlas.com on Flickr

As Fuel

The chocolate powered car sounds like a dream, or a nightmare if you don’t like the idea of having to share chocolate with your car. Scientists have used surplus chocolate (we weren’t aware there was such a thing) to feed Escherichia coli bacteria, who in turn produce hydrogen, which can be used as a clean power source.
Photo by storem on Flickr

As A Weapon

As we covered recently, during World War II it was believed the Nazis were going to try and assassinate Winston Churchill using a bomb disguised as a bar of milk chocolate. The artist Lawrence Fish was called upon by the secret service to illustrate that new, delicious looking threat. The idea was that when you broke off chocolate from the end of the bar it would reveal “a piece of canvas is revealed stuck into the middle of the piece” which, when pulled on, would activate the bomb.

Fortunately such devices are no longer in use, so you can eat your chocolate in safety.
Photo by Alex E. Proimos on Flickr

As Medicine

Over the years people have claimed all sorts of health benefits from eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate. These include everything from aiding the circulatory system to stimulating the brain and preventing coughs. Some have even claimed that chocolate has aphrodisiac tendencies. Those aphrodisiac tendencies have yet to actually be proven by science, but we’ve yet to discover a situation where it’s a bad idea to give your date chocolates...
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