Explore Coverage

Organic Insider

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — Child Labor and Sustainability Issues with Many Conventional Chocolate Brands

For many of us when we eat a piece of chocolate, our biggest concern is how many grams of sugar we are consuming.

Yet, how often do we ask ourselves — was this chocolate bar made with the help of child labor? Or, was the cocoa produced in a way that resulted in deforestation to the environment?

The truth about cocoa – the main ingredient in chocolate – is quite grim.

According to the US Department of Labor, more than 2 million children in Ghana and the Ivory Coast work in hazardous conditions growing cocoa. And while some companies have begun tracing their supply chains to prevent child labor, the vast majority of the 3 million tons of cocoa produced each year come from small farms in West Africa, where farmers and their children live on less than $1 per day.

Additionally, in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, 90% of their forests have been lost, and much of that deforestation was caused by the largest cocoa companies.

To help consumers understand which chocolate companies are sourcing in an ethical, environmentally-responsible way and which ones are not, Green America has unveiled its latest version of its Chocolate Scorecard.

Not surprisingly, the organic brands came out on top (almost all of them received A scores) while the largest conventional brands received C, D and F grades on the Chocolate Scorecard.

What is important to note is that aside from the USDA organic seal, there are many other certifications widely used in chocolate, such as Fairtrade, Fair Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance.

According to Green America, however, certification programs alone are not enough to solve the underlying issues that contribute to child labor in cocoa, including farmer poverty and a lack of infrastructure. As such, the scorecard looks beyond commitments about certified chocolate to identify programs that support farmers and address child labor when it is found.

Furthermore, chocolate bars that are not certified organic may use toxic pesticides or fungicides, which not only harm the health of consumers but that of farmers as well.

So, the next time you buy a chocolate bar, remember that you aren’t just giving yourself an indulgence.

You are making a statement about what kind of company you want to financially support.

ORGANIC BRANDS THAT RECEIVED VERY HIGH SCORES ON THE CHOCOLATE SCORECARD 

Alter Eco

Equal Exchange

Shaman

Theo Chocolate

Guittard

A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

Go deeper

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

What is Biodynamic and Why Do The Products Taste So Good

Whenever I get asked the question of which are the best tasting organic foods, my response is always the same: the Biodynamic ones.

For quite some time, I have been wondering why exactly Biodynamic tastes so delicious, so I went digging for an answer.

THE BASICS

To understand why Biodynamic tastes so good and different from the rest, let’s first discuss its origins and then define it.

Go deeper Arrow

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Support Organic – It Will More Effectively Feed the World During the Global Drought

When people get into a debate about whether organic food is worth it or not, the first issue that always comes up is price.

While organic can cost a little more, there are numerous ways to make it less expensive, such as buying in the bulk bins or purchasing directly from local organic farmers.

Yet, what is often missing in this discussion is how organic is so much better for the planet.

And this is something that absolutely must be part of the narrative as to why organic is the superior choice, particularly because the global food system is responsible for 44-57% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Go deeper Arrow

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — GMOs and Weedkiller Found in Conventional Cereal

If anyone you know is still feeding their children conventional cereal, maybe this piece of news will get them to change their habits.

GMO Free USA, a non-profit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs, just published its results of independent lab tests (verified by DNA analysis) done on Kellogg’s Froot Loops cereal.

Here’s what they found:

1) 100% of the corn in the Froot Loops was genetically-modified, containing DNA sequences known to be present in insecticide-producing Bt and Roundup Ready corn. This corn produces insecticides inside of the plant’s cells and cannot be washed off.

Go deeper Arrow
livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink