One of my favorite snacks has always been chocolate. I am a big fan. Back in November and December I dedicated several posts to rethinking the way I spend my money, and unfortunately chocolate is not immune from that. Why am I bringing this up anyways?
Today on MSNBC.COM they are running a story about the child labor that is used in producing chocolate around the world. You can see a great photo essay here. (Don’t worry, it’s not gruesome or anything like that!) I wanted to highlight this story because it seems like more and more mainstream institutions are beginning to wake up to the shamelessly unfair way business is often done around the world, and I want to applaud them for that.
If you want to make sure that the chocolate you are buying is not produced using slave labor, or simply unfair working conditions and wages, you can buy chocolates with the Fair Trade symbol on them. Most grocery stores now sell at least a small variety of fair trade items in the health food sections. Not only can you rest knowing that your money is being used to actually pay the people working hard to bring you your chocolate, but you are more than likely getting chocolate that is much higher quality and will tast much better than the $0.79 bar you can get in the check-out line. While you will spend a little more for your bar, it will probably last longer and you will be less tempted to eat a whole bar at once (it tastes a lot richer…I know I can’t eat a whole bar of Fair Trade/Organic chocolate in one sitting, but the cheaper bars are an entirely different story!).