When Joe Harberg was 11 years old, two things changed his life: “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” opened in theaters, and the price of a chocolate bar doubled. Harberg collected all the change he had and bought every piece of chocolate his little fingers could afford. Decades later, he refers to himself as the “Chief Chocolateater.” Harberg has his own website, eatmorechocolate.com, where he chronicles his adventures eating confections from candy bars to cakes. “I’m an equal opportunity eater,” he says. “There’s no such thing as bad chocolate.” Since launching his website in 2001, Harberg has attracted more than 30,000 Facebook and Twitter followers. Harberg says while most Americans gravitate toward milk chocolate, he likes it all: dark, light and white. He says he’s eaten one or two chocolate bars from every manufacturer, and also had the opportunity to sit at the “big boys’ table” for the 2012 International Chocolate Awards in London. At the event, he sampled 150 chocolates from different parts of the world in just two days. (Though there were several categories for excellence, Pacari’s Ecuadorian lemongrass chocolate took the gold prize for best-flavored dark chocolate.) Harberg began expanding his global chocolate palate as he traveled the world on business with companies such as Current Energy and Power Brokers, where he had a hand in energy efficiency. Now Harberg relies on chocolate for his energy, with chocolate exploration being his full-time job. “I think I feel better, physiologically,” Harberg says. “It’s part of [chocolate’s] allure.” Harberg says he doesn’t know if he’ll ever complete his quest to ”find the perfect thing because the perfect thing is being made every day.” Harberg is in negotiations with several production companies to roll out an “Eat More Chocolate TV” show by fall 2013. “It’s a $20-billion-a-year industry,” he says. “We consume half as much as Europeans, so I say eat more chocolate — in moderation.”
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