Valentine’s Day Gift Giveaway (24 hours to enter)

February 7, 2012

Friends,
In the spirit of love we at Bake it Forward want to show a little love to a couple lucky tweeters out there who care about ethical chocolate and need a sweet Valentine’s Day gift to give to their honey. We’re offering one of each of these Valentine’s card and ethical chocolate bar packages . . .

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. . . to folks who:


1. Begin following Bake it Forward on Twitter if you aren’t already following

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2. By Wednesday February 8th (tomorrow) at 4:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, Tweet something along the lines of:  follow @bakeitforward for a chance to win a romantic ethical chocolate Valentine’s gift

3. Check your Twitter messages this Wednesday (tomorrow) night around 5 PM Pacific Standard Time in case you won

It’s that easy. Here’s how it’ll work: If you retweet Bake it Forward with something along these lines your (Twitter) name will be put into a hat (quite possibly literally), and it’ll be swirled around with other names, and then this Wednesday February 8th at around 4:30 PM PST two lucky names will be drawn, they’ll receive a Twitter message asking for a place to send the Valentine’s gift packages to, and you’ll receive the package in the mail just before/on Valentine’s Day.


*In order for that last part (“you’ll receive the package in the mail just before/on Valentine’s Day”) to work, we’ll need to have pretty quick responses on Wednesday night from the winners.

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Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week: February 5th

February 5, 2012

The Theo Salted Almond Milk Chocolate bar

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Sweet. Salty. Crunchy. Large. Who doesn’t like that in their chocolate? Theo’s done it again. As a self-proclaimed  chocolate connoisseur I don’t normally go for milk chocolate selections as much, but I could get this bar every week from now on and be satisfied. The 45% cocoa doesn’t lose its richness and almonds add a satisfying heartiness.

 

Here’s where to buy Theo Chocolate bars.

 

Here’s why to buy Theo chocolate bars. Providing fair living wages to farmers, using quality pure ingredients and operating an environmentally conscious factory are just a few. Theo’s catchy tagline is another: “Theo Chocolate – because chocolate grows on trees!” If that doesn’t have your consumer support just buy a bar and you’ll be won over forever.




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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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Introducing Featured Causes

December 30, 2011

With the coming of 2012 we can’t tell you how much your support has meant to us. The simple acts of baking ethically traded chocolate into sweets to share with friends, loved ones and strangers. The little commitments to buying the ethical chocolate bars of the week. While the everyday lifestyle choices and purchases we make are crucial to either fueling or eradicating modern-day slavery, we hope, if you’re interested, you might also like to connect with some great causes, organizations and individuals taking things a step further. There’s a lot of good being done in the fields of social justice, ethical products and eradicating human trafficking, and we want to learn more about it, and of course share it with you too.

So stay tuned, our first Featured Cause is coming soon!

Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week: January 1st, 2012

December 29, 2011

The Chuao Firecracker

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The Chuao Firecracker is a returner on the Bar of the Week blog, and for good reason. It’s a party in your mouth. Literally. And since this is the week to party and cause a ruckus and hurl firecrackers and such, we figured it deserves the honor of ringing in the New Year with us.  So go out and get one before Saturday night, and pop a piece in once the clock strikes midnight. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s where to find it.

Chuao, based out of southern California, specializes in artisan “fusion chocolate” made exclusively from Venezuelan cacao. Venezuelan cacao is high quality on the world market, giving farmers fair prices for their product already. However, Chuao takes it a step further and invests in preserving and restoring Venezuela’s high-quality cacao crop.

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Ethical Chocolate Bar of the Week: December 18th

December 18, 2011

The Green & Black’s Organic Peanut & Sea Salt bar

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A new one from Green & Black’s, this is a sweet and salty treat for your busy week of last-minute holiday shopping and celebrating. With creamy milk chocolate, nuggets of caramelized peanuts and a subtle hint of salt you’ll have plenty of holly and jolly to go around.

Find where to get it here.

Green & Black’s proudly offers a fair price for their organic cocoa grown by indigenous Mayan farmers in Belize. Read their story here.