Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chocolate and Halloween

chocolate kiss

I'm taking a break from blogging about books today to talk about Chocolate. Mmmm chocolate. We love chocolate at our house! But I've just read the truth about chocolate production and child trafficking at Rage Against the Minivan. Kristen posted this BBC video that documents the horrendous process of using stolen children kept in dangerous conditions to grow, harvest and process the cocoa that turns into our favorite chocolate bars. She says,
"A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions.  Some of them have been taken from their families, or sold as servants.  U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don't own them.  This includes Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and the US division of Cadbury . . . who collectively represent pretty much every snack-size candy bar that will be available in stores this Halloween."

Here's the video:

Game changer. Kristen talks more about it and her family's response in follow up blog posts. She suggests some baby steps her family has taken, including selecting organic, free trade chocolate products and other types of candy, often organic because that industry is more carefully regulated. I am going to takes some hints from Kristen's list of Ethical choices for Halloween candy. These options are a more expensive, but hey, I think we can afford to pay a little more to make the world a better place, and get better chocolate into the bargain, don't you?

1 comment:

Lone Star Ma said...

Definitely. We stopped buying chocolate (except GS cookies and we are working on them) that wasn't organic (no organic chocolate is being grown in Cote d'Ivoire) or Fair Trade a couple of years ago. Last Halloween we got sucked in to some promises Mars made and bought some but they were lies. There is some info. on some changes Hershey's is making that I am trying to verify but I haven't yet. This is hard because my Eldest has a nut-allergy and it is harder to find slave-free, nut-free chocolate, but we have to.