Here at Baby Toolkit central, we're celebrating with homemade sugar cookies and cupcakes. We're even having a decorating party with friends on the 13th. That gives us a bonus party!
But chocolate abstention isn't necessary. There's a third path: Certified Fair Trade chocolate. Fair Trade costs noticeably more out of our wallets, but it doesn't deprive children of homes, education, families, food, safety, freedom, love, and, well, childhood. In essence, non-FT chocolate is heavily subsidized at the expense of kids and communities in Africa. Fair Trade Certification confirms that the labeled product is produced in a manner that is legal and just.
So, if you want to invest in a better future for chocolate, Africa, and the world buy Fair Trade.
My brother and I were discussing fiction the other day, and he said "The people in fiction are the only ones who give me hope for the future."
Well, not to be a total sap, the real people on these fabulous interwebs play a similar role for me.
When Jim and I gave up chocolate in 2001, we encountered universal resistance. People would say "Why resist? You alone can't change this." And when we said, "So, join us..." they gave us incredulous looks like we were proposing splitting the atom with salad tongs and silly putty.
And I would wonder how our culture could shrug off CHILD SLAVERY (is there much more odious?). People in fiction were looking pretty amazing by comparison.
But you, Internet, brought me new hope. Here are some friends who've also quit commodities chocolate:
- Chief Family Officer- a great finance-conscious family blog. Her comments have already inspired others causing a truly awesome ripple effect.
- Z Recommends- Jeremiah would appreciate a few more FT chocolate suppliers in his piece of Texas
- Gaming geek & friend Ronin Kakuhito
- superblogger mod*mom has also taken up the banner though she hasn't had chocolate or coffee in years and she organized a HUGE Fair Trade chocolate GIVEAWAY in honor of Valentine's day. So go enter!
Manufacturers like Global Exchange, Equal Exchange, Divine Chocolate, Dagoba, and Dean's Beans have online stores and listings of local retailers.
Happy Valentine's, everyone!
***Baby Toolkit is the independent, unsolicited opinion of some random geek parents. We're definitely not experts at this. We have no relationships with any of the chocolate companies represented within this post. Baby Toolkit, (c) 2008.