Buying chocolate

It’s no secret that I love chocolate.  Unfortunately, the farming and transport required to produce chocolate in the United States takes a heavy environmental and social toll, including deforestation and unfair labor practices.  So what’s a chocoholic to do?

First, eat less.  I’m not ready to give up chocolate completely (and I may never be ready for that), but reducing consumption is a step in the right direction.  Easier said than done, perhaps, but to help with moderation . . .

Second, buy high quality chocolate that is grown and produced responsibly and sustainably.  Look for Fair Trade-certified products*.  Sure, this will cost more, but that provides built-in incentive to eat less.

In our quest to buy better chocolate, we found Sweet Earth Chocolates.  Not only is their chocolate in line with our values, it also tastes great (taste is key)!  We’ve been ordering chocolate chips and baking chocolate from them for over a year now.

We just placed our third order (we order a large quantity to last several months), this time for 8-9 pounds of chocolate.  The order total gave me pause, but we will stretch that chocolate out in various baked goods over the next ten months.

We’ve also been meaning to talk to Local Harvest Grocery about carrying some of the chocolate chips in bulk to defray the cost and environmental impact of the shipping involved in our relatively small orders, as well as making the product more accessible to others in St. Louis.

*For more sources of Fair Trade chocolate (and other products), check out this list.


  1. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the link love! I went to my local huge Whole Foods after I wrote that post and was happy to find that they do, in fact, have fair trade chocolate chips. They were even on sale so they didn’t cost more than a bag of good quality chips. I find that I rarely buy chocolate to eat; most of what I buy is to bake with, and then other people give me eating chocolate (definitely not fair trade). I’m at a loss how to educate them about the problems without coming off as an ingrate.

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Taste is definitely a big factor for us. If it doesn’t taste good, it’s really not worth the environmental impact. The gifted chocolate is a hard one, I agree. One approach is setting an example by giving those people the kind of chocolate you would like to receive, and focusing on pointing out the high quality and great taste that often comes with buying the responsibly-produced chocolate.

  2. EcoCatLady says:

    You know… I never crave chocolate. At least I didn’t USED to crave it until everybody started writing about how terrible it is. Now it’s all I can think about! Could everybody please start writing about lima beans or something like that now? :~)

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      I’ll let you know when I’ve perfected my “lima bean cookie” recipe 😉

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