Between 1997 and 2010, the number of people allergic to peanuts quadrupled and there was a 265% increase in allergy-related hospitalizations. Today, food allergies affect one out of every 13 children and send someone to the emergency room every three minutes, according to food activist Robyn O’Brien. Yet each Halloween, parents of children with food allergies have two choices: Send kids into a minefield of allergens or force them to stay home. This year, make yours a safe house with allegen-free, vegan, organic and fair trade, individually-wrapped minis from PASCHA Chocolate. Want to try? You can win some, just in time for Halloween!
Oh, how I love chocolate (preferably organic and fair trade). But I really do hate making dessert. So when I was recently tasked to bring something sweet to a dinner party, I looked for the easiest possible chocolate recipe I could find. This no-bake, chocolate mousse easy recipe was so easy to make–and amazing to taste–I had to share. My little helper was pretty impressed, too!
Last year I celebrated Valentine’s Day by asking you to boycott Hershey’s, which is working towards 100% third-party certified production in Africa—a step that would eliminate once and for all accusations of child labor, forced labor, child trafficking and verbal, physical and sexual harassment that have plagued America’s biggest chocolate manufacturer for years. This year, I’m going one step further: Will you join me in putting your love money to work with fair trade Valentine’s Day gifts?
There was a time when all you could get to give away at Halloween were conventional candies full of food dyes linked to allergic reactions and behavioral problems in children or chocolate cultivated by enslaved African children. In fact, last year I asked readers to boycott Hershey’s chocolates, which led to a fascinating debate between Mommy Greenest readers and a company rep. But I digress: Friends, the times they are a-changing. This year, I discovered better Halloween candy that can be delivered to your door!
Okay here’s a genius idea: Create a healthy chocolate milkshake, cram it full of organic vegetables, and package it in a way that’s lunchbox-friendly—for kids and adults. That’s the genius behind Sneakz Organic healthy chocolate milkshakes, which combine USDA Certified Organic milk, sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots into a delicious drink that delivers more fiber and less sugar than chocolate milk—as well as a full serving of veggies, plus their vitamins (from food, not fortification). How do I know this GMO- and pesticide-free shake is delicious? I personally taste-tested it, and am now giving away FOUR CASES to Mommy Greenest readers!
After nearly 400 Mommy Greenest readers signed a petition urging Hershey to speed up its goals of certifying cocoa production and eliminating child slavery, the company responded quickly. I called Hershey yesterday, expecting to confirm receipt of the petition, which I had mailed less than two weeks ago. But within a few hours of leaving a message for CEO John Bilbrey, I received a lengthy email from their consumer relations department, which shared some things I didn’t know about the chocolate behemoth. Let me tell you, I was surprised.
Recently, Hershey’s responded to a child labor lawsuit and pressure from human rights groups by committing to 100% third-party certified production in Africa, where it sources the majority of its cocoa. The certification should eliminate many claims of child labor, forced labor, child trafficking and verbal, physical and sexual harassment that have plagued America’s biggest chocolate manufacturer. But there’s one problem with this objective: It’s not set to take effect until 2020. With an estimated 1.8 million children currently forced to labor on cocoa farms in West Africa, more than 10 million children will be affected over the next six years. I think that’s too slow, don’t you? With Valentine’s Day right around…
Nothing says holiday hostess gift better than sweet things in a pretty box. But here’s the dirty little secret behind mass-produced candy: The U.S. State Department estimates that more than 100,000 children work on the African farms where most cocoa is cultivated, and that 10,000 of those are victims of human trafficking and enslavement. Thankfully, fair trade certified cocoa is slowly but surely making its way into our markets. But what is fair trade, exactly?