Fair trade, organic chocolate is the sweetest deal | Queen of Green | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Fair trade, organic chocolate is the sweetest deal

(Credit: John Loo via Flickr)

The holiday season is now truly upon us, and with it, the season of culinary indulgence. Yum!

If your festivities in any way resemble mine, chocolate is part and parcel of celebration. Bird-friendly, fair trade or organic chocolate, that is — anything else is less than festive.

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You've probably heard the research suggesting that eating moderate amounts of chocolate is good for you. It's packed with antioxidants, magnesium and the amino acid tryptophan. Lovely excuses to indulge!

But our favorite temptation is full of dirty secrets. Destruction of rainforests. Child labour. Impoverished farmers and rich corporations. A high price to pay for a cheap treat!

Thank (the Mayan) gods, chocolate lovers can skip this long list of woes and opt out of high fructose corn syrup, wax and other equally unappetizing ingredients by choosing fair trade, organic chocolate.

Certified organic chocolate promotes farm management systems that preserve soil fertility, protect farmers' health and conserve ecosystems. Where conventional chocolate is heavily dependent on pesticides, organic, shade-grown chocolate relies on natural fertilizers and a healthy relationship with the birds and bugs!

Like all organic foods, those chocolate treats are also free of synthetic food additives, dyes and genetically modified organisms.

Fair trade means that farmers receive an equitable price for their product and that labour rights meet internationally recognized standards. Children go to school. Working conditions are safe. And most often, chocolate is purchased directly from the farmers or farm co-ops, so communities thrive.

The fair trade certification system also prohibits GMOs and limits the use of agrochemicals.

Luckily, some of the most delicious delicacies win the triple crown: bird-friendly, organic and fair trade.

Sure, ethical chocolate costs more. Chalk it up to those fair wages, the lack of child labour and the cost of making sure critters get to thrive too! Then break a nugget, take a bite and savour the melting bliss. Real chocolate is so rich and wonderful, a little less goes a long way!

We'll soon be sharing chocolate bark around the table and sipping homemade cocoa on our nightly neighborhood walks. What about you? Will you visit a favorite chocolatier this season, indulge in a square of organic delight, or whip up a little homemade chocolate heaven?

Share your chocolate plans for a chance to win a private "Chocolate 101 Tasting" for you and 15 of your closest friends, courtesy of XOXOLAT in Vancouver.
Sincerely,

Tovah Paglaro, The Queen of Green

December 2, 2012
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2012/12/fair-trade-organic-chocolate-is-the-sweetest-deal/

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28 Comments

Feb 13, 2014
7:48 AM

i only eat non fair trade chocolate i dont give a **

Aug 27, 2013
1:00 PM

My son has a peanut allergy so I took it to the next step and started making my own chocolate from bean to bar. It’s not easy at all and I would absolutely not recommend folk take it upon themselves.

What I really want to do is take it commercial but the equipment cost for production sized equipment is just too much.

There’s a serious lack of kids fair trade chocolate out there and that sucks. Most of it is in fancy bars or is dark. For the life of me I couldn’t find fun things like molded fair trade chocolates. Hence making my own. My kids got their first ever chocolate bunnies and eggs this year at Easter, for example.

Jan 01, 2013
8:35 PM

Thanks to this blog post I visited Xoxolat on Dec 31 for the first time. Even just a few minutes chatting with the owner was enlightening. There is so much to learn, and my “chocolate plan” is to educate myself much more thoroughly about this delightful and potentially healthy food that I thought I knew.

Dec 21, 2012
8:47 AM

I like to promote socially-responsible consumer choices by only buying fair-trade chocolates and tea for presents. :) Thanks for spreading the word!

Dec 16, 2012
6:54 AM

I made Fair Trade Hanukkah gelt with my kids! We melted down chocolate bars from our local organic Fair Trade chocolatier, poured the chocolate into coin molds and after they hardened we wrapped them in foil. Making our own allowed us to be creative with flavors. We made milk chocolate ginger and dark chocolate mint. We gave them as presents to my son’s preschool teachers and brought them to a Hanukkah party. They were delicious!

I am also volunteering with the Fair Trade Gelt Campaign to galvanize energy in the larger Jewish community to stop child labor in the chocolate industry. Please visit our page! http://www.facebook.com/fairtradegelt

Dec 12, 2012
3:52 PM

I recently cut sugar and chocolate out of my diet for a six month health adjustment. But cannot live without chocolate long-term! Now I know what to look for when purchasing good quality dark chocolate.

Dec 12, 2012
3:52 PM

I recently cut sugar and chocolate out of my diet for a six month health adjustment. But cannot live without chocolate long-term! Now I know what to look for when purchasing good quality dark chocolate.

Dec 12, 2012
11:58 AM

I’m all about drinking chocolate at this time of year, the darker the better — I love trying different fair trade blends to compare and contrast. Despite being a chocolate aficionado I’ve never taken part in a chocolate tasting and I think it’s time to remedy that.

Dec 12, 2012
11:53 AM

I’m all about drinking chocolate at this time of year, the darker the better — I love trying different fair trade blends to compare and contrast. Despite being a chocolate aficionado I’ve never taken part in a chocolate tasting and I think it’s time to remedy that.

Dec 12, 2012
11:49 AM

I’m all about drinking chocolate at this time of year, the darker the better — I love trying different fair trade blends to compare and contrast. Despite being a chocolate aficionado I’ve never taken part in a chocolate tasting and I think it’s time to remedy that.

Dec 12, 2012
11:47 AM

I plan to make fair trade organic and vegan hot chocolate using Camino products!

Dec 12, 2012
11:45 AM

I plan to indulge in some fair-trade organic vegan hot chocolate from Camino! With just a little bit of soy/almond milk because otherwise it becomes quite rich.

Dec 12, 2012
11:45 AM

I plan to indulge in some fair-trade organic vegan hot chocolate from Camino! With just a little bit of soy/almond milk because otherwise it becomes quite rich.

Dec 10, 2012
2:46 PM

Chocolate zucchini brownies. So delicious and fabulously paleo!

Dec 08, 2012
9:58 AM

I too love visiting Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France on Main Street in Vancouver for her aztec spiced drinking chocolate and her fleur de sel chocolate squares. Thanks for your article! I will make a special effort to find fair trade, organic chocolate and it will probably taste even sweeter knowing it’s produced by people getting paid fairly.

Dec 06, 2012
9:07 PM

I like to make organic tofu brownies this time of year. So much more moist and full of flower than box brownies! I get asked if I’m bringing them to parties now!

Dec 06, 2012
9:06 PM

I like to make organic tofu brownies this time of year. So much more moist and full of flower than box brownies! I get asked if I’m bringing them to parties now!

Dec 06, 2012
8:38 PM

i will be visiting Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France for some Christmas gifts and love to have a cup of homemade hot cocoa in the evenings made with fair trade cocoa, almond milk, a little bit of maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt.

Dec 06, 2012
8:29 PM

My chocolate plan is only buying fair trade organic chocolate!

Dec 06, 2012
7:55 PM

i will be visiting Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France for some Christmas gifts and love to have a cup of homemade hot cocoa in the evenings made with fair trade cocoa, almond milk, a little bit of maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt.

Dec 06, 2012
11:17 AM

Homemade chocolate dipped shortbreads and homemade hot cocoa are always favorites around our house at Christmas!

Dec 06, 2012
9:38 AM

Cocoa Camino allll the way! Many of their products are vegan too! Shave the orange or mint dark chocolate bar onto desserts — perfection!

Dec 04, 2012
8:53 PM

After reading your post I’ve decided to visit a chocolatier

Dec 04, 2012
1:52 PM

I’ve had the pleasure of attending chocolate tasting 101 at xoxolat in the past and learned a lot. We conscientiously try to consume local goods and support local business and merchants in order to encourage and grow these industries and our local economy.

My plan is to definitely indulge in local chocolate this year, have so many faves to choose from! Sue

Dec 04, 2012
1:01 PM

I’ve had the pleasure of attending chocolate tasting 101 at xoxolat in the past and learned a lot. We conscientiously try to consume local goods and support local business and merchants in order to encourage and grow these industries and our local economy.

My plan is to definitely indulge in local chocolate this year, have so many faves to choose from! Sue

Dec 03, 2012
3:38 PM

After reading your post I’ve decided to visit a chocolatier

Dec 03, 2012
10:19 AM

Most of our family members don’t care/understand about organic or fair trade, but that is what we’ll be serving at our 2 Christmas dinners

Dec 03, 2012
7:09 AM

Very delicious chocolates and I am hoping to have that one. I can do trade also , so that you can taste what chocolates we have in here.. Thanks for the blog ..

I have something to share about turning our waste streams into domestic energy sustainable green commodities and new jobs. For more info please visit our website http://www.kleanindustries.com.

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