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Ghirardelli Chocolates Contain Heavy Metals. Apparently, So Do Trader Joe’s.

Plus these two Oakland restaurants just received $10,000 grants and more food news

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Pick and Mix station. Albert Law
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Consumer Reports published a report last month indicating many dark chocolates contain high levels of lead and cadmium. SFGATE reports Lindt, Godiva, Trader Joe’s, and San Francisco’s own Ghirardelli Chocolate were all on the list of 28 companies whose products contain the chemicals. Lead and cadmium, when consumed in high amounts, can cause neurological and developmental damage in addition to scores of other issues.

But don’t toss out that stash in the pantry just yet. The maximum allowable dose for lead in a food product is 0.5 micrograms, and for cadmium it’s 4.1 micrograms. In one of Ghirardelli’s chocolates, one ounce contained 36 percent of the maximum allowable amount of lead and 39 percent of the maximum allowable amount of cadmium. In comparison, Trader Joe’s chocolate exceeded safe levels at 127 percent of the maximum allowable amount of lead and 229 percent of the allowable amount of cadmium in one ounce of its Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate. Sure enough, on January 4 the grocery store chain was sued for endangering consumers.

This zero-proof cocktail pop-up in Sacramento hopes to stick around

The Teetotalist, Sacramento’s first 100 percent alcohol-free bar, will pop up at 830 K Street downtown for the next few months. The Sacramento Bee reports the bar is one of six finalists for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Calling All Dreamers competition; if the business wins, it would receive $10,000 and support from the city in opening permanently.

Oakland natural wine bar heads to Wine Country

The Punchdown, the 2010-born spot for natural wine on Broadway, is headed to Sebastopol. Owners D.C. Looney and Lisa Costa moved to the area after having a baby in 2022 and told the San Francisco Chronicle it was only a matter of time until natty wine joined them. When the new location opens in outdoor market the Barlow in March, it’ll be one of the only businesses in Sonoma County dedicated to natural wines.

Activist grants two Oakland Chinatown restaurants $10,000

Grace Young, who won a James Beard award last year for her efforts in battling COVID’s impacts in American Chinatowns, just gifted $10,000 to two Oakland restaurants. East Bay Nosh reports Nature Vegetarian and New Gold Medal are both now represented by Young’s program. Young’s campaign “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” allows her to partner with community groups: in Oakland, she chose Wa Sung, a nonprofit that supports Young in giving locals $10 food vouchers to redeem at those businesses.

Dungeness crab boil in Cole Valley

Cole Valley Tavern, the restaurant and bar on the corner of Cole and Carl streets, is hosting a first-come first-serve Dungeness crab boil on January 9. According to an Instagram post from the business, the restaurant’s full menu (courtesy of Cod Damn) will be on deck in addition to the pot of fingerling potatoes, smoked bratwurst, and saffron butter-cooked crab. Dinner is served from 4 to 9 p.m.

The Punchdown

1737 Broadway, , CA 94612 (510) 788-7877 Visit Website

Cole Valley Tavern

900 Cole Street, , CA 94117 (415) 681-7678 Visit Website