In researching fluoride, I stumbled into a blog and had to read the article titled As A Mother, I Refuse To Buy Child Slave Chocolate This Holiday Season. And she's right.
I am reasonably certain that chocolate that is certified "fair trade" does not touch the hands of child slave labor. But the rest of it: maybe, and maybe not. I don't know what the ratio is, but given the propensity to select the cheapest source to maximize profits, I am suspicious of the cheap stuff, and, well, basically everything that does not carry the "fair trade" label.
And looking in to that "fair trade" label, the Fair Trade USA website has no mention that they actually do any kind of certification. You can download the print-ready logos right from the site. It's really a service to help manufacturers decide to select fair-traded sources. But there's no evidence that any company can't just download the logos and slap them on the side of their products. But, I guess, it's mostly better, maybe? It's all I have to go on, so I'll take it.
So I've decided to stop buying non-fair-trade chocolate. It's like my decision to not buy meat unless I can get reasonable assurance it was from animals raised on a farm in decent conditions (e.g. able to roam a close-to-natural-sized habitat).
But damn it's hard! I want to have my Raisinets with a movie, or buy a brownie from the bakery. I'm really a junkie for this stuff. I did even cave and buy a cookie that had M&M eyes, savoring every slave-picked bite.
In all honesty, this is harder to quit than alcohol. It's really quite unnerving, especially since I can get fair-trade chocolate quite readily. It's just the innumerable habits I have of buying it spontaneously.
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