As the weather turns cooler, the leaves change color, coffee
shops break out the pumpkin flavored drinks and other markers of fall pop up the
holiday season looms large on the horizon.
First among them being Halloween.
This holiday has a lot to recommend it.
Costumes, parties, socializing with neighbors and strangers and of
course the free candy!
However for those of us who refuse to consume chocolate made
from cocoa from West Africa due to the pervasive
problem of child slavery on its cocoa plantations trick or treating
presents us with a serious problem – sacks full of inconsumable candy and of course
the question of what to hand out ourselves.
October also happens to be Fairtrade
month. Fairtrade has been around
for decades and at Halloween and any other time offers ethically minded consumers
the opportunity to use their dollars to support just buying systems and
markets. Fairtrade products offer one
potential way to ensure a Halloween with slave free chocolate. Many stores now carry a wide variety of
Fairtrade and ethically sourced chocolate.
Just today I bought a bunch at my local Target. They included honey, mint and even bacon
flavored bars! Of course these were full
sized bars priced between $3 and $5.
These are probably out of reach for most of us in terms of handing out
treats on Halloween! Although they would likely make us neighborhood favorites.
In one Mom’s quest to avoid ingredients she deems unacceptable
at Halloween we end up with a blog
that provides some great alternatives for those who want to avoid not only unhealthy
ingredients but also looking for ethically sourced options.
It would be easier (and frankly pretty tasty) to just avoid
the issue altogether. Or maybe take this
holiday off. For one night indulge in the
consumption of chocolate we avoid all year because of the moral implications of
participating in any way in slavery. But
when I am tempted to do this, when I long for that bite sized Snickers or that
teeny tiny Kit Kat bar I remind myself that an unjust system will never change
is we consumers keep consuming, keep demanding with the voice of our money the
product of stolen childhoods of the children of West Africa.
So let’s seek out those alternatives when we buy our own
candy and let’s refuse to consume anything that is produced by slave labor.