Law Library News for the Week of Jan. 28, 2008

Cheryl Nyberg, editor

Bloggety, Bloggety, Blog

by Mary Whisner

Last month, the ABA Journal said “There are between 2,000 and 3,000 legal blogs—what we call blawgs. How many of those are worth a click? Turns out, quite a few.” The article went on to name the 100 law-related blogs the editors deemed the best.

If you’re curious about who’s blogging locally, see Law-Related Blogs in Washington State. You’ll find blogs by public defenders, big-firm lawyers, and solo practitioners. They’re blogging on topics as diverse as construction law, trademark law, food poisoning litigation, and privacy law.

Feeling a step behind the blawg wave? Then take a look at our guide on Blogs & RSS Feeds. It has links to directories of legal blogs, information about using RSS feeds to follow your favorite blogs, and links to tips for writing your own blog.

The Regulation of Chocolate

Chocolate! How do we love thee? Let us count the ways—that chocolate is defined by the federal government.

The Food and Drug Administration issues regulations on food for human consumption in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Plated between Part 161, Fish and Shellfish, and Part 164, Tree Nut and Peanut Products, is the object of our desire, Part 163, Cacao Products. Here you will find provisions lovingly detailing the authorized specifications for 15 categories of chocolate.

First the tender nibs are stripped from their protective cacao bean shells (which are first cruelly dried, cleaned, cracked, and cured) and then subjected to a neutralizing agent (21 C.F.R. § 163.110). A mechanized grinding of nib on nib produces chocolate liquor, which might be labeled baking, bitter, or unsweetened (§ 163.111). (Wouldn’t this rough handling make you bitter too?)

A parade of variations spring sweetly from this simple beginning: breakfast cocoa (§ 163.112) and milk (§ 163.130), sweet (§ 163.123), and white chocolates (§ 163.124) and chocolate coatings. Buttermilk chocolate (§ 163.135) was a surprise to me! Distinguishing this assortment are additives and proportions of chocolate liquor and or cacao fat.

No federal law mandates that all American chocolate be made in Hershey, PA. In fact, you can tour a nibs-to-bars chocolate factory in Fremont: Theo Chocolate. Samples provided—Yum!

Website of the Week: Empirical Legal Studies Bibliography

The UCLA Law School website features a new searchable bibliography of law review articles reporting empirical research. The ELS Bibliography may be searched by author and words in titles or browsed by subject. The search may be further limited by year.

The database currently contains articles published since July 2005, but efforts to extend the content to 2000 are planned.

Entries contain author(s) names, article titles, Bluebook citations, and subject headings assigned by the indexers.

Related sources include:

©2011, Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington