Living, and Chocolate

With apologies to Martha Stewart, I begin a new category here at the ‘topia: Living. I just couldn’t think of a better name (that Martha is clever!). Here I’ll document everyday discoveries, struggles with ethical life, and just stuff this close-to-forty chick has found along the way.

We begin, as all good things do, with chocolate.

Nearly everything we consume is manufactured or obtained by unethical means. After a while, it’s easy to shut out the shrill cries of SLAVERY! CHEMICALS! STEROIDS! SWEATSHOP! and just quietly clutch your skull in the corner. Bill and I are beginning, slowly, to bring our consumables in line with our ethics.

Unless you’ve been skull-clutching in that corner (and I wouldn’t blame you), you probably heard recently about the problem with chocolate. One of the most grievous crimes a business can commit–child slavery–is inexcusably a part of most chocolate manufacture.

There are several brands of chocolate certified fair trade. In the end, we decided to go with a non-certified chocolate, made by Newman’s Own Organics. The stuff is great, and it’s easily available at our local Whole Foods. Bill researched the company, and found they were good folks. Still, he was puzzled as to why they weren’t certified Fair Trade. He wrote them and asked why. Here’s a snippet from the response:

We are also satisfied with our ethical standards regarding our chocolate and have not felt the need to become officially certified. Organic chocolate is by nature fair trade. We pay much more for organic chocolate and due to the limited number of organic cocoa growers they receive a premium for the cocoa.

We are wondering if other organic foods are, by their nature, fair trade, and it’s something we’ll be looking in to.

4 Responses to Living, and Chocolate

  1. Paul says:

    Chocolate I can live without but chillie I cant!! I grow my own and love them. I need chilles at least four times a week – yep even more them sex (dont ask) but life without chillie.

    Oh no what about chicken Mole!!!! If chocolate isnt fair trade what about my beloved chillies – and where does that leave my sex life???

    I should never post after a couple of beers and some good chillie sausages – which by the way I have made for my birthday party and eaten the experimental batch tonight.

    Shame you cant come but I will raise a glass of beer in your honour. No chocolate will be served!

  2. Cat says:

    Garlic is the one I can’t live without. I love to use chilis too, but garlic goes in *everything*. And thank goodness we found chocolate we can live with–going without chicken mole is not an option! 🙂

    Hey–isn’t this birthday a big one? I’m right behind ya.

  3. Paul says:

    Garlic, chillies, beer not necessarily in that order!! In fact all at once!! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm I can sense a new beer coming on to the market, I have had chillie beer but maybe it’s time to make a garlic, chillie beer!!! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    Yep 40 is rushing up like a producer asking for over time for free!

  4. Sonja says:

    loved your site. you are really funny. thanx.