Archive for January, 2012

Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week: January 29th

January 29, 2012

The Zazubean nakid Bar

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If the name of the bar doesn’t win you over, the decadence of rich dark chocolate and crunchy cocoa nibs inside it will. Completely organic, fair trade and gluten free, this bar is literally for everyone, chocaholics and cocoa growers alike. Zazubean’s spunky Canadian vibe is just another 1-up on the whole thing.

If you live in Canada, see where you can find a Zazubeam bar near you. If you don’t live in Canada, check out Zazubean’s online store.

Zazubean Chocolate’s “mission,” from its beginning has been to offer the market “gourmet chocolate that is delicious, ethical and has natural health benefits.” Staying true to that goal, Zazubean produces only dark chocolate with a variety of exciting (and health-focused) fusions. Even better, their bars are certified by Fair For Life. Read Zazubean’s story here.





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Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week: January 22nd

January 22, 2012

The Equal Exchange Very Dark Chocolate bar

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This week’s bodacious bar of the week comes just in time for Bake it Forward Day. Crunch it up and bake it into some cookies to be given out to that group of college students always studying at your favorite coffee shop. Melt it into some muffins to offer to the old couple down the street. Or just share the bar itself with someone on January 27th. No matter what, you can enjoy this rich dark chocolate knowing that small-farm cocoa growers are benefiting, and you can show others that committing to buying ethical chocolate is easy, fun and always delicious.

Where to find it: Equal Exchange is carried by Wholefoods Markets, and I assume many other organic and fair trade grocery stores. Check the ones nearest you, or shop on Equal Exchange’s web site.

25 years ago Equal Exchange brought fairly traded Nicaraguan coffee into the US market and since has expanded to tea, almonds, bananas, sugar, olive oil, cocoa and of course chocolate bars. Every product they sell to this day originates from small farmer cooperatives all over the world, making Equal Exchange completely worker owned. You can’t get much better than that.

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Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week: January 15th

January 14, 2012

The Divine Milk Chocolate with Spiced Cookies bar

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What did you do with all your leftover holiday cookies? Wanna know what Divine did? They put them into their chocolate. Ok, so they probably aren’t leftover cookies, but it’s not a bad recycling idea. Regardless, This chocolate bar has bits of cookies in it. Freaking spiced cookies. And it works. This is a New Year resolution worth bending a little: enjoy cookies and chocolate all in one, and feel good about supporting the Kuapa Kokoo farmers’ cooperative in the process.

Here’s where to find it.

Buying Divine Chocolate and supporting the Kuapa Kokoo coop means not only ensuring the cocoa farmers a fair living wage, but also helps Kuapa Kokoo invest in community development projects from building schools and mobile health clinics to empowering women and providing clean water. The farmers have shared ownership of Kuapa Kokoo, meaning they also have shared influence over Divine’s business practices. Your purchase really is supporting the farmers and their communities directly. On top of that, Divine allows you to virtually meet some of Kuapa Kokoo’s farmers as well.

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Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week: January 8th

January 7, 2012

The Theo Organic Fair Trade Mint Dark Chocolate bar

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Hold onto that New Years resolution to invest in the Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week every week starting with this, Theo’s refreshing, dark but sweet chocolate mint bar. Every new year brings something fresh to compliment getting back into the everyday routine. Let this be it this week, and feel good knowing it’s helping the farmers producing the cocoa, preserving the environment and growing ethical businesses like Theo.

Here’s where you can find it.

Theo chocolate, based out of the beautiful northwest of the United States, runs on four pillars: Place, People, Planet and Theo (the bean to bar process). With the Fair for Life and USDA Organic labels, no one loses when you buy their chocolate.

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The Harry Potter Alliance

January 7, 2012

Some of you may have noticed a tweet here and there about a project started by a non-profit organization called The Harry Potter Alliance. This is partly due to my (Seth, the Bake it Forward tweeter) obsession with all things Harry Potter, and partly to the fact that The Harry Potter Alliance’s current project is extremely relevant to Bake it Forward’s purpose. 

 

The Harry Potter Alliance is an organization built from the very fuel that drives many great movements: personal interests and passions met with a call to take action. Its founders, Andrew Slack and Paul Degeorge, started with an interest: the Harry Potter story. Something that hundreds of thousands of millennials grew up with. I myself was eleven years old when I started the series and aside from wondering why I didn’t receive an invitation to Hogwarts on my birthday, I instantly felt I could relate with Harry, who was the same age I was. Those who’ve grown up with him have an attachment to the story that’s hard to beat with any other book or movie series.

Even more amazing about the Harry Potter saga is that it serves as a modern mythology for the things we see wrong in our world today (injustice, power struggles, corruption, modern-day slavery) as well as the qualities it takes to make the world better (friendship, humility, courage, will power, education, love). DeGeorge’s and Slack’s realization was that Harry Potter’s famed “Dumbledore’s Army,” which began in the 5th book of the series in order for students of Hogwarts to learn self-defense against the regime of a dictatorial and corrupt headmaster, doesn’t have to exist merely in story. It can be real just as evil is real in our world. The HPA’s mission as a Dumbledore’s Army for the real world is simply to courageously stand up for the less privileged, the silenced and the oppressed in our world as Harry, Ron and Hermione stood up for those of the wizarding world.


Paralleling the Harry Potter story is just one way the HPA connects with young activists. A whole world of fiction fandom, YouTubers, bloggers, and other social media gurus exists and is known by just about anyone who’s ever experienced the Internet. Harnessing this great power is practically second-nature to the HPA and its founders, and since it began in 2005 it’s reached over 100,000 young people and has earned the support of J.K. Rowling herself, author of the Harry Potter series. This momentum has been used, among other things, to send five cargo planes full of life-saving supplies to Haiti in aid of earthquake victims, to donate over 87,000 books worldwide to literacy campaigns, to raise over $16,000 for sending underprivileged kids to Kamp Kiwanis, and in their current campaign, to collect over 15,000 signatures on a petition calling for all Harry Potter-themed chocolate sweets to be ethically sourced.


The HPA’s current project, called “Not in Harry’s Name,” is designed to put pressure on Warner Bros., who is responsible for selling just about all Harry Potter-related merchandise, in order to ensure that the chocolate sold under the brand of Harry Potter be ethically sourced. After several formal communications between Warner Bros. and the HPA’s Andrew Slack, WB, a company who’s failed ethics inspections by Free2Work, simply refused to further explore their chocolate sourcing and has since failed to communicate further on the issue. Since their last communication with WB in November, the HPA has utilized its network of activists to barrage Warner Brothers with personalized letters and YouTube videos from the Harry Potter fandom itself. The HPA has committed to not being silenced in the face of corporate irresponsibility, sending the message that while the powerful in our world can get away with silencing those their products enslave, they won’t stand against those they rely upon to keep selling their products. Given until New Years Day at midnight to respond to the HPA, Warner Bros. failed to send any form of communication. The HPA will continue the pressure until it’s heard that people care about where their chocolate comes from.


At Bake it Forward we place great value in the simple everyday decisions. Decisions like what brand of chocolate we’ll bake into our next batch of cookies given the option to stand against child slavery and support the farmers at its source for a couple more dollars. The Harry Potter Alliance recognizes the power in everyday decisions like these, and won’t stop until Warner Brothers does too. We hope that as you’ve joined us in making just a few more ethical lifestyle changes, you’ll be willing to join the HPA in fighting for a choice that can affect the trajectory of thousands of others’ purchases.


To get involved in the “Not in Harry Name” campaign click here.


To check out the Harry Potter Alliance’s other campaigns click here.


To donate to the Harry Potter Alliance click here.



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