Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Chocolate with a conscience!

It’s true I can’t deny it. I love chocolate. Always have.

Eat it every day.

It’s such a straightforward buzz.

Mmmmmmmm! Delicious. I’m also quite keen on flavours. Milk, plain, fruit and nut ….

I like trying new types too. The big trend for chili chocolate is a good one.

Fillings like salt caramel; I’m prepared to give anything a go. As long as it’s chocolatey.

Then there’s chocolate in things. You can have chocolate coated strawberries, chocolate cake, desserts, and chocolate flavour drinks. Buy a stick of chocolate and stir it into hot soya milk.

Then there’s the adverts with glamour and luxury. The smell is great. They make chocolate scented candles, you know.

I should write poetry about it!

So what’s the green angle here then?

It’s a very guilty pleasure. But I’m not talking about calories or greed.

For a while now I’ve become quite specific about the brand of chocolate that I choose.

Because

A lot of the chocolate industry is pretty dodgy.

Unfortunately cocoa beans generally grow in warm countries in more tropical zones.

These countries very often have some other characteristics. Without intending to generalise in a derogatory way, there are often child workers as a result of poverty. Families relying on children to support and feed them and the other children.

It’s my view that this situation will often give opportunities for exploitation.

And the cocoa industry has its share. Child slavery. Chocolate and child slavery.

The food is power website was one I referenced. I don’t claim to be an expert but I would far rather see children accessing education.

And where there is exploitation there is physical danger, lack of respect, fear and oppression.

Machetes, heavy loads, long hours, machinery, exhaustion. It’s not sounding so tasty and indulgent.

I am so sad and angry that the modern world still contains conditions for young people that are worse than the notoriously poor conditions in Victorian England. It’s unimaginable that practices that were explicitly identified as wrong more than a hundred years ago can still be so common.

And unfortunately, looking in the mirror every day, that means that I can’t justify such an indulgent habit that has this sort of legacy.

I don’t think it’s acceptable not to have a conscience when making choices. The wallet is my weapon. If I make better choices about the products I buy it can make a difference.

What’s a chocolate fanatic to do?

Find a solution.

Tony’s Chocolonely!

This brand has slavery-free chocolate as a strap line. I’d much rather focus on that kind of slogan than low fat or new improved. IMG_8883.JPG

It’s a Dutch company.

Crazy about chocolate; serious about people.

Their mission is very simple. To respect the people who make their business possible.

Now I can enjoy my treats with only guilt about my waistline.

Do you have a food that you have ethical concerns about?

What’s your solution?

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15 comments on “Chocolate with a conscience!

  1. suchled
    November 14, 2014

    Well, Chocolate is made from beans – beans are a vegetable – and we need more vegetables in our diet. It is obvious.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lizard100
      November 15, 2014

      Got to have the veg! Chocolate has magnesium in it which we often lack too 😉

      Like

  2. andy
    November 14, 2014

    I’m sure there is exploitation on coffee bean plantations as well. I love my coffee. Hopefully programs like Equal Exchange are more than just marketing programs to get me to spend more on a bag of coffee!
    Cheers – Andy

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 15, 2014

      Thankfully coffee is rarely served in our house. But tea has its problems too. I hate the idea that children have to gather these things and don’t gave education. The west is so privileged but we also have responsibility.

      Like

  3. John Coleman
    November 14, 2014

    Once heard a saying–an overgeneralization, but some truth in it: “People don’t mind throwing others overboard. We just don’t want to hear the splash.” Thought of this as I read your helpful post. Thanks and peace, John

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 15, 2014

      That’s very well put. So often our actions are at the expense of others but without them coming into view.

      Like

  4. suchled
    November 14, 2014

    Me again, Now that I’ve got the joke out of the way I can be serious. I try to use my wallet to hit the unethical companies. The big two supermarkets in Australia are a taget of mine and I shop in the smaller independent ones whenever I go to town. But I still have to be careful. It would be good if there was a list of ethical v exploitative producers.
    I buy Charisma Coffee. A teacher from a local school in Ballarat takes a group of volunteers to the mountains in East Timor and they work on the coffee plantations there. He imports the beans, roasts them and sells them and all the profits go back to the villagers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 15, 2014

      Its true that being conscious of ethics when shopping is ao important. Jokes welcome alongside aerious issues. X

      Like

    • lizard100
      November 15, 2014

      Charisma coffee sounds great too.

      Like

  5. Rambling Woods
    November 15, 2014

    I buy only bird friendly, fair-trade organic chocolate and fair-trade items like chocolate when I can…

    Liked by 1 person

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