Sunday, October 05, 2008

Reverse Trick-or-Treating

The idea of being socially responsible for the food we eat, to actually think about what we eat, where it comes from, who produces it, how far it travels, what impact there is on the Earth for you to enjoy it, has been growing in force, certainly over the last few years, with the very scary reality of global warming, whether you believe or not in its impact, has been garnering more and more interest in my own life. Near and dear to my heart, chocolate, the dark, bitter, tasty, wonderful sublime treat that I daily enjoy in all forms, which faces extinction on several fronts, including the dying-off of pollinators due to deforestation, chemicals and global warming, the rapid rise in price for oil leading to increased costs of raw ingredients and the final product let alone the carbon produced, and the huge multinational corporations that pay little or nothing to the farmer who grows the cacao, at least gives one pause to ponder whether that treat I just enjoyed will tip the environment over the edge into oblivion. Okay, not anytime soon, I certainly hope, but, in the meantime, while we are all waiting for the end, we can do our little bit for the World, and one of them involves a concept called Fair Trade. Fair Trade is something I have discussed now and again, certainly there are more and more products out there, chocolate-oriented and others, coffee, tea, crafts, that give the farmer a fair price, investing in their lives, thus coming closer to ensuring a product for years to come. Which brings me to what I mean by reverse trick-or-treating. Essentially, a group of Fair Trade organizations have gotten together to allow socially-aware youngsters, as they go about receiving candies on Hallowe'en, to give back to the adults a sample of Fair Trade chocolate, with some literature about such, to educate them on the dangers inherent in the chocolate trade, including potential child-slavery and those environmental impacts. To order your sample of 20 Fair Trade chocolates, go to Global Exchange in Canada, there are also ones for the States, and order yours. Hurry, as quantities are limited; you have till October 15th to order as well. You can also order Fair Trade products there, too.

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