Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fair Trade, Organic Chocolate for Valentine's Day

organic chocolate truffle
Valentine's Day wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a heaping helping of chocolate. The problem is, that $3 box of chocolates doesn't taste so good...and it may not be so good for you. The farming practices used to cultivate and grow the cacao beans may also be a little unscrupulous.

The Daily Green has suggested 12 Decadent, Organic and Fair Trade Chocolates for this Valentine's Day. You might be thinking that it's not worth it to spend a little more on these chocolates, but think again! Many full-priced "luxury" chocolate companies like Godiva, Lindt's and Ghirardelli are offering non-organic, non fair trade chocolates at the same price or more than some of fair trade organic chocolates.

So what is the taste difference? In some cases, the chocolate will taste the same. In some instances, the chocolate tastes fresher, more flavorful, and robust. Most fair trade organic chocolate companies are smaller, and pay more attention to the small batches of chocolate that they produce. You, the buyer, the farmers, and the seller can feel good about buying these more earth friendly alternatives that are more ecologically responsible.

What makes fair trade organic chocolate more ecologically responsible? The lack of pesticide use, which encourages plant and wildlife growth, the fair trade practice, which helps the farmers out by giving them a fair wage, and the encouragement the farmers are given to utilize more responsible farming techniques.

So this Valentine's Day, consider the options before you buy your chocolate! There are plenty out there. Some may be available by mail only, so you may want to shop early to get in time.

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