One of the areas we are looking at and trying to make changes is our food consumption. This month we were focusing on coffee and only buying and drinking free trade coffee. This has been pretty easy for considering we rarely make coffee at home, we have a new eating out budget which has limited my coffee dates, and there was only one place in town who didn't offer some sort of free trade coffee. I know the ease of this change will quickly be forgotten as we embrace our next one. CHOCOLATE. I love chocolate, all shapes, all kinds and at all times of the day. I made cookies last week and as I finished the bag of delicious dark chocolate chips, I knew this change would have to come sooner, I wasn't supposed to start until September! STOMP! BUT I knew I couldn't go too long without chocolate. So I started doing a little more research the cocoa industry. Throughout this year CNN has done a pretty comprehensive report on the issue of slavery, if you have a few minutes and enjoy eating chocolate, I encourage you to read The Freedom Project. If not, here some quick facts for you:
- Americans eat an average of 11.64 lbs of chocolate a year.
- Most cocoa producers will never taste chocolate. Watch this video
- U.S. spends around $13 billion a year on cocoa products. Many cacao farmers live on less than $2 a day.
- UNICEF estimates that more than 200,000 children are working in child labor in the cocoa industry, with around 15,000 of those children in slavery. Read more here.
The most enlightening thing I discovered in this research was my slavery footprint, apparently 79 slaves work for me, I'm not exactly sure how they tabulate the score and I want to argue it because it didn't let me clarify on several things AND I don't support slavery!!! BUT apparently I do and I think that's the point. - If you do nothing else, go to this website and take the test. Share with me your score! It will make you think about everyday products in a whole new way.
So what are we doing? No more mass produced/big company chocolate for the Betzlers. So, to start, I ordered a 5 lb. bag of raw, organic, free trade cocoa, from Latin America (where slavery is not an issue). For now, this was the most affordable way to buy chocolate, so this is where we are starting. Hopefully, I will soon be able to find affordable chocolate chips because I am going to miss them. I'll keep you all updated on our chocolate finds (Choconat & Divine are two great companies - just not in our budget for regular chocolate consumption).
What is a girl to do with 5 lbs. of cocoa powder to do? Well, we started with greenish-smoothies.
Supposedly, raw organic chocolate is a super food, that combined with all those greens in Hudson's smoothie...you never know what might happen!