What Are You Giving for Lent?

Last spring I decided that I would give up slave-made chocolate and I invited other people to join me. It happened to be around Ash Wednesday, so it became a sort of Lenten observation, and a number of friends, family and readers jumped on board. Now it has been a year. A whole year! It’s … Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr. West

Last week I attended a Valentine’s Day-themed screening of The Dark Side of Chocolate, a documentary on human trafficking in the cocoa industry. I highly recommend you see it if you don’t believe chocolate is made by children, often against their will. At the same time, if you are prone to motion sickness as I … Continue reading

Let Africa’s Children Be Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and to celebrate it slave-free, you might want to plan ahead. Here are a few ways to support the abolitionist movement this February: Get Hershey to do the right thing. This year a lot of anti-trafficking organizations are fighting the chocolate industry by focusing their attention on Hershey. Hershey continues … Continue reading

Slave-Free Trick-or-Treat Resources

Chocolate Halloween Cupcakes, by Meringue Bake Shop Are you considering going slave-free this Halloween? Plenty of local health food stores, and even many regular supermarkets sell small squares of fairly traded chocolate that you can hand out to sweet-toothed kids. If you do plan to pass out slave-free chocolate this year at Halloween, consider including … Continue reading

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

Documenting Slave-Made Chocolate

It is frustrating to write about the cocoa industry and the slave trade. Besides the fact that it seems impossible to end the crime (people sure do love their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!), there is very little documentation to back up an abolitionist’s claims. I wish, and sometimes don’t wish, that there were more pictures … Continue reading

Consumerism and the Marginalized

Yesterday a fellow blogger made it to WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” page with a post on Fairtrade and how it does very little good for the world except alleviate guilt. I first want to offer some publicity to the piece because it is a thought-provoking write-up about a controversial topic that we’ve recently discussed on this … 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

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