Friday, October 19, 2012

Chocolate is Messy

Gah! Not this again!! I bet you were hoping for a cute picture of some kid or puppy or even a food review (besides chocolate, of course). Not today.

This link is a fuller discourse of Kristin's article from Babble. 

The comments in both articles are excellent. I highly encourage you to read them as well.
CNN has a project entitled Chocolate's Child Slave's. Spend some time over there, if you can.

I decided yesterday to wander into my local Stuff Club and see what they had to offer. I skipped over the Hershey's and Nestle's products (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Wonka candies- all owned by Hershey's, by the way) I decided to avoid chocolate altogether and this is what I found available:

pretzel treats (good idea but totally will not make it in a sack full of other candies)
mini bags of popcorn
dum dum pops
Austin cracker treats
Cracker Jacks
Zoo animals
Ritz bits
Cheez its
Chex Mix

Though not in any particular order, the list does get more pricey the further down as these were being sold as items for a vending machine or lunch bags, etc.

What I'm saying is that even if you don't have a Whole Foods(ok, my sister, maybe I'll give it another chance)/Trader Joe's/or want to spend a nice chunk of change on chocolate for the kiddies, you have other treat options.

(Too bad you can't pass out homemade treats anymore because I'm thinking this would have been the year to pull out Mom's popcorn ball recipe!)

I asked my Facebook friends what they thought of the articles. I got a few responses. And then I got asked for my opinion...

  • I didn't re-post Kristin's articles to make you feel guilty or prey on your emotional response.
  • I re-posted it because before just a few months ago, I didn't know about this myself and I thought it good "food for thought".
  • I don't think its altogether fair to highlight issues like this during holidays, except that is when people purchase the most chocolate. BUT when else would you even pay attention even though this isn't a holiday only matter?
  • I think once you know, you can't forget. It is this uncomfortableness that we try really hard to avoid. Instead, we need to be encouraged to see, to seek out better answers and to do.
  • This social injustice stuff is a tangled web. It reminds me of being a kid and taking the cover off a golf ball. Inside was tightly wound rubber bands that with a little bit of prodding erratically unsnapped itself. The dimpled exterior made it sail farther and faster but inside was kind of a mess. Chocolate is just one of so many injustices. Where does one stop? I don't know the answer to that. I don't think that should be any reason to not act.
  • Our dollar speaks. I haven't heard any rebuttal to that simple fact. If one of you knows a more motivating factor than that, please let me know of it.
  • Having our dollar speak as we want it to is inconvenient. Inconvenient for us who have everything at our disposal. 
  • Having our dollar speak as we want is actually going to cost us more of our dollars (even if we bargain shop).
  • The smallest right move still makes a difference. We don't discourage a baby from not taking its first steps because they don't have the entire thing mastered. The same is for us.
  • I don't know how my family and I will go forward about our chocolate purchases.
  • This provides us with opportunities to build relationships with local chocolate shops and local chocolate vendors about their chocolate and where it is sourced. "We're consumers. We care. Do you know? Do you care?" kinds of questions. We can go about it peaceably.
As a Facebook friend stated, this is a loaded topic. I'm not attempting to lay it all out for you here. I've been challenged myself to think harder, look further. I'm glad to be able to read Kristin's excellent articles, exchange conversations with others and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm pretty torn about the whole chocolate issue. On the one hand, our family lives on a budget, and organic food/chocolate prices just don't fit. On the other, you're right, once you learn this stuff, you just can't un-learn (pretty sure that's not a word) it.

    For this Halloween, I think we're going to avoid chocolate. Going forward, I think we'll have to look into fair-trade chocolate, and probably just do our best to be more conscious of the choices we make.

    Love your blog!


Thanks for reading. Kind comments are always welcomed!