A Labor Day for the Farmer Slave

This Labor Day, millions of Americans rushed the malls, parks and beaches to enjoy one last dog day of summer before the leaves die. We ate fruit salads and chocolate ice cream and forgot about the world a bit. In our forgetfulness, and in our well-deserved rest, we died a little on the inside. And … Continue reading

Faith-Based and Slave-Free

Many churches, temples and other faith-based organizations serve coffee, tea and cocoa to their attendants. Increasingly these groups want to see their consumer choices reflect a heart for justice and compassion, so many are turning to Fair Trade and other ethically grown products. Why the switch? Cocoa farms in West Africa grow most of the … Continue reading

Unsweetened by the Slave Trade

“It is at this price that you eat sugar in Europe.” – maimed slave from Voltaire’s Candide From Kool-Aid to Fruit Loops to Dr. Pepper to Jimmy Dean’s “Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick,” we hungry Westerners have one thing in common – and no, it’s not just the resulting diabetes: we like … Continue reading

Tea: Debt and Migration

Who knew that a regular job producing a commodity the entire world consumes could lead to so much insecurity? Many women across the globe pick tea leaves in an effort to feed their families and provide education to their children. Despite the rain-or-shine, labor-intensive duties and low pay, the job provides income and, in many … Continue reading

Tea and the Marginalized

There may be no greater connection between one world and another than tea. In tea we pick the grasses and leaves of our native lands and ship them to another people who look and think differently than we do. Those people prepare the grasses and leaves in water and consume their essence. We drink the … Continue reading

Cherokee Trail of Tears Beans

In the winter of 1838, U.S. forces removed the Cherokee Nation from their homeland in the southeastern region of the United States and forced them to migrate west. The infamous trek to Oklahoma killed roughly 4,000 Native Americans and became known in the Cherokee language as “Nunna daul Isunyi” (The Trail Where They Cried). Many … Continue reading

A New Earthquake or a Fabulous Easter Gift?

Monsanto has announced that they will ship $4 million worth of seeds into earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The seed gift will include corn, cabbage, carrot, eggplant, melon, onion, tomato, spinach, and watermelon. The first 60 tons arrived in Haiti last week. When Haiti approved the donation back in April, Monsanto called it a “fabulous Easter gift.” But Haitians … Continue reading

From Sea to Shining [Don’t Drink That!]

This morning, many Americans are waking up to the dangers of murky water. In the inner city, it is not uncommon to see murky tap water, and boiling it ahead of time is the safest thing to do. But for the last three days, all Bostonians are getting a taste of that pre-boiled water. Because … Continue reading

Gift-Wrapped Goats and the Marginalized

As cookout season draws near, it is easy to forget about the billions of people who have no sustenance, no access to the many vitamins and minerals found naturally in meat. The children, the sick, the widowed and orphaned. But if eating red meat does cause you to think about such people, have no fear! … Continue reading

Chocolate Resources

This has been a great week, and I hope everyone has learned something, because I certainly have. Be sure to catch up on the comments for ideas and suggestions. If anyone sends me good resources, I’ll include them on the front page, even in later weeks. To make a few things clear, there are a … Continue reading

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