My 8 year old has declared war. Okay, maybe that’s a little strong. What he said was, “Caleb, are you in or out? We have got to save the world! I could use your help. Hershey can’t get away with this. They are ruining the world for our grandchildren!” Yep! That’s really what he said.

Here’s the background … last November we visited the Hershey Factory in Hershey, PA. It was wonderful and smelled amazing! Ben was in Hershey Heaven as he is a huge fan of all things chocolate. When the kids are especially cooperative at the grocery store, I often reward them with their choice of a check-out-lane/lane-where-mom-caves treat. Ben nearly always chooses a plain Hershey bar … king size if he can get away with it.

Last week, Ben and I were horrified to see a story on the Today show that spoiled our entire day. (The women at my last retreat even heard me lament about it!) Apparently, due to higher cost of ingredients, Hershey’s is removing cocoa butter from many of it’s popular chocolate candies, and replacing it with cheaper vegetable oil. (I overheard Ben on the phone with his 8-year-old buddy, Drew. Ben was telling him all about this nightmare and how “vegetable oil” makes his tummy sick if he eats too much of it in candy bars! Ha!)

Check it out next time you’re in the store. The package labels are changing too, because the FDA says anything containing vegetable oils cannot be called “Milk Chocolate”. Now the packages say “chocolaty” or “chocolate candy.” Now, don’t completely freak out. The Hershey bar and Hershey Kisses have not been contaminated by the addition of vegetable oil in lieu of cocoa butter … yet. However, the other candy bars made by the Hershey company have made the switch.

Watch the Today Show / MSNBC video here.

I suggested that Ben write a letter to the Hershey factory. I mean, really, how can you refuse a cute little kid who is concerned that his grandchildren will never know how amazing a Hershey bar tastes? However, he is vehemently opposed to writing letters. As his teacher, I can attest to the fact that he is opposed to writing anything! Right now he is focused on superhero, world-saving tricks. I think I heard him say something about building something out of Legos to help him fight Hershey.

All I can say is, “Hershey, watch out! There is one mean-Lego-building-eight-year-old-superhero-wannabe in Rochester, MN, who intends to take you on. Put back the cocoa butter and no one gets Lego-ed!”


Addendum: If you want to join our letter writing campaign, please send me your letters via email or send a comment with your email and we’ll send you a mailing address off-line.