Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding.More Than Food

Chocolate + Slavery

Chocolate. Oh the sweetest of decadent treats. Hot chocolate // chocolate chip cookies // chocolate almond butter smoothies. What’s not oh-so-sweet about chocolate, though, is the amount of slavery involved in harvesting the cocoa beans to make it. This slavery thing is very real, friends.

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In college, I was an Anthropology major and focused my studies on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking in the United States. As we discussed the definition of slavery for an entire semester, I learned more about the issues of labor trafficking on an international level, and chocolate hung out at the of the “goods most harvested by slaves” list. A majority of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and Latin America, and day in and day out, many folks are enduring inappropriate and abusive situations to ensure that we all get to enjoy a savory bite of chocolatey dessert. I remember one story someone told me about a child they saw interviewed who picked cocoa beans for a living. The reporter asked this little boy about his role on the farm, and he said he had never even tasted a chocolate bar and didn’t even know why he was picking the beans. He also made comments about the abuse he endured. Slavery is very real today.

On that day in my class called “Is This Slavery?”, I committed to stop consuming any chocolate made by the hands of slaves. I decided it was not worth the risk of what someone else had to experience for me to enjoy a dessert for 5 minutes.

I share this information not as a guilt-trip by any means- and please hear me when I say that. I share about the reality of slavery with you because I want you to be an educated consumer and know where your food is made. Whether it is chocolate, veggies, fruits, coffee, tea, or meats- know the source of your food.

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The Good News:

Not every cocoa farm maintains unethical practices. In fact, many companies are striving for better working environments for their employees (as well as improved protection of the land) and are banning child slavery. How do you know which companies to trust? We must do research, friends. Gratefully, there are people out there who are doing this type of investigating for us (thank goodness for them!). Look for Fair Trade labels — they are certifications that ensure ethical practices for both people and the Earth.

 

Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more information, as well as approved list of companies who do not embrace slavery practices. Let’s change the world, friends. One chocolate bite at a time.

 

Other places to look for info:

Make Chocolate Fair

Slave Free Chocolate 

Fortune Magazine 

Print Recipe
Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding
Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and FAIR 🙂
Instructions
  1. Scoop out the avocado, and toss it in a blender/food processor with banana, cacao, and sea salt. Blend. Taste the pudding, and if necessary, add a bit of honey to sweeten.
  2. Optional: Top with coconut cream and Fair Trade cacao nibs, and enjoy!
Guacamole and Sweet Potato Chips

The Purpose of Life & Guacamole

Happy Monday, friends! What a beautiful weekend it was outside- I mean, who expects 75° weather in the middle of January? Hey, I’ll take it! I did take full advantage of the sunshine and headed to north Georgia for some hiking (and Vitamin D!). As I sat on top of the mountain and overlooked the vastness of the state below me, two thoughts came to mind:

  • I am one piece to this massive and historic puzzle, and my role was created intentionally to serve a specific purpose to the world. Every Monday at our office, each staff member comes with a word and quote that drive the direction of her or his week. I chose the word purpose with this quote: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner). My purpose is to love and serve people well, and I am beyond grateful I get to do that in my job every day. My purpose is to make a change in my corner of the world, knowing that others are making similar impacts in their corners, as well. If we all work in our spheres, we would see goodness everywhere we turn.

 

  • Peace comes with stillness. Atop the mountain, there was silence. It was pretty uncanny actually. As I let my eyes wander over the below cities, hills, and trees, it seemed like life had stopped momentarily. But we all know it was zooming quickly under us, as has become the norm in most of our lives. Are we running so fast we are actually missing life? My yoga instructor Angela always says, “Before there is movement there is stillness,” and this quiet space is pivotal for a full life. My heart calmed sitting on top of those rocks; God knows all things about this world, so we can be still and find comfort in knowing that all will be all right.

What brings you joy and into a posture of stillness? Comment below to help give ideas to others!

 

Speaking of comfort, let’s talk guacamole. This food certainly brings my heart comfort and joy 🙂 Make this super simple and delicious recipe for a healthy dish (be warned: you may not want to share). Enjoy!

Print Recipe
The Best Homemade Guac + Sweet Potato Chips
Avoiding the corn chips? Use homemade sweet potato chips as the perfect scooper into your homemade, fresh guac! You'll never want to go back 🙂
Servings
Hungry Person or 2 People Willing to Share
Servings
Hungry Person or 2 People Willing to Share
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven for 375°.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes horizontally into ~2 cm slices (they will be thin circles). Coat each side with coconut oil, and lay on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle any of the suggested spices at the top over the "chips". Bake for ~30-35 min (flip them halfway after ~15 min).
  3. While the potatoes are baking, saute chopped onion in butter/coconut oil until caramelized (i.e. a bit golden brown). Set aside.
  4. Cut avocado in half, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, and using a fork, mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Spoon the guac into a bowl, and enjoy with your sweet potato chips!
Fish & Veggies More Than Food

Fish & Veg

Print Recipe
Fish & Veg
Course Just Veggin'
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Just Veggin'
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and chop all veggies. Sauté them in coconut oil on a pan, until soft (about 15 or so minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, place the fish on parchment paper, and top with butter and spices. Broil or bake until cooked though (about 8-10 minutes).
  3. Mix veggies and fish, and top with sliced avocado. Enjoy!
Paleo Platter More Than Food

Paleo Platter

Print Recipe
Paleo Platter
Need an array of foods to keep your taste buds and your guests happy and content? This dish is fabulous to diversify the foods on your table.
Prep Time ~20 Minutes
Cook Time ~25 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Prep Time ~20 Minutes
Cook Time ~25 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Plan your cook times (the instructions are ordered according to longest cook time to shortest).
  2. Chop all veggies.
  3. First, combine onion, eggplant, and summer squash in a glass pan OR cookie sheet + parchment paper. Toss in fat of choice, salt, and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Meanwhile, Toss zucchini in another pan with fat, salt, and garlic powder. Bake for 18-ish minutes, or until soft.
  5. Then, place salmon on parchment paper. Top with butter, salt, and dill. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cooked through. (You can also fry this on a stovetop pan with the same process). Chop when finished cooking.
  6. Slice avocado. Put all foods into respective dishes.
  7. Enjoy over salad greens or individually. Happy nomming!
Hearty Salsa More Than Food

Hearty Salsa

Print Recipe
Hearty Salsa
Salsa
Prep Time 7 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Prep Time 7 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Dice onions, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Mix together in a bowl.
  2. Toss with juice of lime, freshly pressed or minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Enjoy this refreshing side dish!