The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
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.
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.
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?
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...