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.