Monday, March 10, 2008

While I'm on the subject...

Thanks everyone for your comments on my International Women's Day post - it was gratifying to get any comments at all, but to share such thoughtful and interesting perspectives, it was fabulous. I think that choice is the key, choice without judgment.

So while I'm on the subject, or perhaps the soapbox, let me quickly mention something else I've been thinking a lot about lately (and then I promise some knitting content at the end!).

That thing is chocolate. I mean, clearly, I think about chocolate a lot anyway. Like at 7am this morning, when I decided it was not too early to have last piece of chocolate that was sitting there on the coffee table. Because then I could throw the wrapper in the bin, and tidying up, that's good right!

A few weeks ago Em posted about chocolate, and in particular about the production of cocoa beans in Africa by farmers using child slave labour. And that's a pretty horrible thing to contemplate. I know different countries have different cultural norms, and I believe that, on the whole, one particular country or culture does not generally have the right to force their beliefs on other different countries or cultures, but to me some things are inherently wrong, and slave labour, whether by children or adults, is one of those things.

So while confectionery companies agree to do something about it by 2005, and then 2010 (as was reported on the news on the weekend), what can we do? An easy thing to do is buy fair trade and/or organic chocolate.

Since I read Em's post and the follow up post, I've been consciously buying Green & Black's chocolate, which is organic (and therefore far less likely to be produced using slave labour). And also, I have to say, it is totally delicious! I succombed on Saturday to a bar of Cadbury's, as we'd been without chocolate for a day or two and I couldn't get by, and the Cadbury's (which in the past I have soo happily eaten) was just not so nice. (I must add a disclaimer - I am not aware where Cadbury's sources their cocoa...am off to investigate their website...where I found lots about obesity, sensible eating of chocolate, marketing to children and tours of the Cadbury factory in Tasmania, but nothing about this issue).

While doing the grocery shopping yesterday I noticed two new different brands of organic, free-trade chocolate on the shelves in Coles. And since I'm a sucker for chocolate orange, I thought I'd try one of the new brands alongside my Green & Black's.

Now, Green & Black's and Cocolo are more expensive than Cadbury's and similar name brands, but the other thing I find is that while it not only tastes better, I actually tend to eat less, because the flavour is stronger. So it lasts just as long as a larger block of Cadbury's, and I'm also dieting! (well, sorta...)

And since I promised knitting content, and I'm on a do-gooder thing right now, here's the pilchers I've made for Terri, who is collecting them to send to an orphanage in China who need them for disabled kids.
I just need to put some elastic in the legs and then pop them in the post for Terri.
And tomorrow, shoes. Because I am totally shallow and materialistic about some things. And contradictions are one thing that make human beings such interesting things of study!

12 comments:

lilypily said...

Wow, racy red! The pilchers look fantastic! :o) Thanks so much. :o) And hey, no fair tempting me with chocolate. It's bad enough with knitting books (and shoes and bags)you know. I've been so totally good with chocolate consumption, but I think I will be checking out the Green and Black next time I'm at Coles. I wasn't aware of the child labour issues, so thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'll be a more discerning chocolate consumer from now on.

kim said...

Chocolate! I love chocolate. But I must tell you that there is something inherently wrong with me because I don't go for the expensive chocolate. Good old Hershey kisses are my vice. We are never without them in the house. You know... for guests...

The Pilchers are so cute. What a wonderful thing to do.

Michele said...

sobering commentary on chocolate. i buy a lot of organic stuff but also some non organic. something to think about.

Bells said...

I am going to make Sean read this. When we were at the shops and I went to reach for a block of that chocolate (which, I might add, he wolfs down every time I buy it) he complained about how expensive it was.

SOOO???

I will make him read this. Then he'll understand hopefully in a way I couldn't get him to when I blurted out all the info I could think of in the supermarket.

Great red pants! Love them!

amy said...

I do just about all of my shopping at Whole Foods, which honestly, does all the work for me. They are extremely conscious of both the healthiness and the social consciousness of the products they stock. I appreciate that. My husband does get me chocolate from a local place that makes them on premises; I'm not sure where they source their chocolate from.

jan magor said...

I just had to leave a comment (for the first time). My family belong to the Salvation Army and this is a MAJOR passion for our family and our church. The teenagers (my own included) proudly wear Stop the Traffik t-shirts and actively support this campaign for Fair Trade chocolate and coffee. Another great Aussie brand to support for their fair trade is Chocolatier chocolates. Their Easter Eggs are easily accessible in Safeway and Coles this year. Thanks for helping to spread the news! I too am a keen knitter and a blog LURKER (aahh) but this time you have motivated me to comment. Keep up the great blog, it is a pleasure to read.

lilypotter said...

I LOVE chocolate orange. It's divine! Also, I think in general organic is the way to go whenever possible; organic stuff tastes so much better. That said, I'm dying to try organic chocolate! I can't imagine chocolate being any better than it already is... plus making me feel like a better person just for eating it! It doesn't get any more delicious than that!

lilypotter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
del said...

Thanks so much for telling us about the free trade & organic chocolates. Every little bit does help.

I'm just now catching up on your Intl. Women's Day post -- how insightful! I love being a woman too & don't want to be the "same" as a man...we should appreciate what makes us different.

Ann said...

I Love chocolate too & must have a piece with my chai tea after dinner. Thanks for the review on organic chocolate & I will be on the lookout on my next shoppinh trip.

Em said...

Thanks for posting about the chocolate issue, I fee slightly less crazy and obsessive now that someone else has taken up the torch. I have found organic chocolate is more satisfying, though that could be what I tell myself to justify three-dollar candy bars to myself.

What, exactly, is a pilcher? Is this an Aussie thing?

chocolatetrudi said...

I thought I had better point out that the terms 'organic' (as it relates to food) and 'fair trade' are quite different. The first refers to the way a food is produced, the second to the effect on societies and the environment. Just because something is produced with 'organic' standards, doesn't mean it lives up to the principles of 'fair trade', and visa versa.

That said, I'm all for supporting one of the other principle, especially when the result is as good as Green & Blacks chocolate! I did read somewhere that Cadburies had bought them out, though, but I haven't got around to looking for confirmation yet.