A Better Option for the Impoverished Farmer

The fair trade movement has grown exponentially in recent years thanks to large corporate partnerships and more global awareness. It’s arguably made a difference for many tradespeople on whom wealthy countries depend. But it’s not the only option out there if you’re interested in ethical consumerism – there are alternatives to fair trade that can … Continue reading

“Happy Halloween” as a Journey

It’s that time of year again: the time of year when everyone eats a ton of crappy, cheap candy and brags about it. And it’s the time of year I become tempted by cynicism. A few years ago, I found out much of our chocolate has a connection to human trafficking in West Africa. It … Continue reading

New Roots

I’m loving the IRC’s New Roots program. It plays on the the not-so-revolutionary idea that refugees miss the food from their homelands and often arrive with significant experience in gardening and even full-scale farming. New Roots helps refugees establish gardens from Iowa to the Bronx. The program has a simple action plan with complex goals. … Continue reading

Hershey Is Now Certifiably Something

Long time readers of this blog know that I’ve been after chocolate companies for years, ever since finding out their supply chains often take advantage of child slave labor on some West African farms. Hershey has been particularly unresponsive to campaigns calling for reform – up until now. After years of staying silent on the … Continue reading

Good Eats, Movie Review, & My Sad Hoodie Story

This week I’m trying something different: a non-injury-induced video blog. (If you get this by email or RSS, you may have to click through to the site to see it). Feedback appreciated! *One clarification: While Boat People SOS is founded by Nguyen Dinh Thang, who is working on the Aramark case in Jordan, I think … Continue reading

Easter and Passover Treats

This year Easter and Passover fall on the same weekend, and families everywhere will be buying their kids chocolate bunnies and making flourless cakes with cocoa powder. In both cases, I hope you’ll consider using chocolate that you know is slave-free. For Christians, tomorrow is Good Friday – a somber day commemorating Christ’s death, in … Continue reading

Victoria’s Secret and the Fairness of Fair Trade

If there’s anything in this world that grosses me out, it’s slavery and the word “panties.” Maybe that’s why I’ve avoided discussing the recent news that a Fairtrade-certified cotton distributor allegedly sold products tainted with forced child labor to the lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret. (Oh yeah, I also hate the word “tainted.”) No one has … Continue reading

A Zagat for Bleeding Hearts

Next time your waiter brings you that side of fries, how do you know she hasn’t coughed a nasty stomach virus onto it? Who can a busboy talk to about having his wages stolen from him? When a line cook leaves work, does he have a place to call home? Earlier this month, Restaurant Opportunities … Continue reading

Good News Friday

I’ve been really excited about this Good News Friday because I missed a week for the holiday and thus had a ton to share. At the same time, I’m running on no sleep. So in fear this post will spiral into a… rerhaldskf… mush of… aweh sadkf fb=… bad spelling and… aldf ehjkef… grammar mistakes… … Continue reading

A Slave-Free Nestlé?

I’m following up Thanksgiving by eating extra chocolate. And that’s because I have some good news, chocolate lovers! Nestlé announced Monday that they will be working with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to investigate the working conditions of cocoa farms that supply their chocolate. Along with child labor in general, they will examine the allegations … Continue reading

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