3/30/2009

The things you don’t want to know

There are a vast amount of things and facts out there in the tryin’ to be green and ethical world that you really don’t want to know. The more you get to know, the worse it is to ignore. It’s difficult or impossible not to think about it. It might be (or should be) difficult not to act upon it.

But it can also be information overload. It can leave you in a state of passive stress – an overwhelming feeling of not knowing what to do, not believing that you can do a difference, or really just a feeling of getting lost in the immense jungle of facts (or is it always?) and stories.

The spring equinox has passed, Easter is coming. In our house this is kind of a merged celebration of spring. And for many people Easter means chocolate eggs and chocolate in general. And that’s one of those things that you might not want to think or know so much about.

Chocolate is – together with tea, coffee, cotton and quite a few other luxury goods – among the commodities that we here in the west, and in industrial countries, take for granted but (mostly) cannot or do not produce for ourselves. We’ve exploited other countries for centuries to get them and we keep on the same road today. I call these luxury goods because that’s really what they are. You can buy chocolate practically anywhere in this country, but I’ve never heard of anyone growing coco beans in their backyard... for obvious reasons.

According to www.etiskforbruk.no (Norwegian collaboration of organizations promoting ethical (“etisk”) consumption (“forbruk”) ) – most of our chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast. In many of the coco producing countries child labour and slavery is common. In resent years 15 000 children was sold to slavery in the Ivory Coast. One third of the children of coco farmers have never been to school. Almost 300 000 children are involved in producing chocolate for us... I can keep on searching out facts (in Norwegian) about this. But I think I’ll stop here. You get the picture. There is quite a few youtube videos related to this as well.

Go searching for Fair Trade organic chocolate. And really enjoy it. Awaken your senses and renew your respect for the people producing this delightful luxury for us to enjoy.



2 comments:

ladybug-zen said...

thank you for posting this.

Amy Bradstreet said...

Agreed. And we do, buy organic Fair Trade chocolate and have for years. This is one reason I refuse to hand out bags of crap candy on Samhain/Halloween, here. I'm the weird woman who still bakes and puts out cider and invites people into our home, instead.

Also agreed--chocolate in way undervalued, is a luxury item. I recall reading that cocoa can only grow within a few degrees of the equator. So it cannot grow anywhere else in the entire world. It's like eating diamonds, and has the same human rights ramifications, hmm. Good post.