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Just another stay at home mom trying to do it all, save the world, and not run out of coffee.
My published articles: exm.nr/gkA1yp
Twitter: @CarolBruckmann

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's the Great Chocolate Debate, Charlie Brown

Fair Trade Organic Belgian Chocolate Bars
I'll have to get a bar for
Mommy & Daddy, too!
For quite a while my household has been a free trade only coffee zone (easy since I'm the only drinker) and kind-of a free trade only chocolate zone (much more difficult with a sweet tooth husband and two kids). When I'm shopping it's easy to avoid "slave chocolate" as my daughter and I call it, but candy centered holidays (aren't they all?) like Halloween call for more introspection. After seeing several friends post about free trade chocolate and Halloween I began ripping my hair out contemplating what we would do as a family since we do trick or treat as well as need to buy candy for an outreach at church. (Keep in mind I'm also against most of the other candies for chemical and food coloring reasons - sigh.)

I think I've come to a decision for our family. I just told six year old Caitlyn this morning that we were going to send the "slave candy" and "chemical candy" they get for Halloween to the troops and in return buy some fair trade chocolate and healthy candy from Trader Joes. She was totally fine with it! I'll probably do it behind my candy junkie three year old's back, and I just have to convince my husband to get rid of free candy in exchange for spending his hard earned money on junk food.

What's the big deal? It's been covered far better in other places - recently rageagainsttheminivan posted about the inconvenient truth about your halloween chocolate and forced child labor and from problem to solution: practical ideas for an ethical halloween. Go ahead and get informed... I'll wait.

I know, it's more expensive and inconvenient to find free trade chocolate. But it won't get any easier until we start to care and then shop our conscience. To me it is the same as the following scenario:
You go to check out at your favorite grocery store. The cashier takes your loyalty card and says, "Oh, we have a great special today. You can save 20% by doing nothing. I'm just going to take this non-loyalty card member and this random kid I found in the parking lot and beat them with a stick for a couple of minutes."
Maybe you would do some mental math and think, "Sweet, that's $25.83 I can save!" Hopefully you would either do a Chuck Norris move to take down the cashier or at least leave your groceries there, calling the police on the way to the slightly more out of the way and a few dollars pricier grocery store across town.

As a Christian I am commanded to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. But I should think that few Americans of any religion could truly believe that it's worth the life of another child for our children to have cheap holiday candy.

Some of you may think I'm being overdramatic, but remember - out of sight should not be out of mind.

Shalom Seekers