Millions of people are planning on buying, giving and eating chocolate in celebration of love on Valentine’s Day. This time of year means big sales for chocolate companies. If you are interested in buying chocolate that supports fair labor standards, as well as those that do not harm the environment or your body, make sure you are well educated as to where your chocolate comes from and how it was harvested.
Of the many types and varieties of chocolate on the market, not all adhere to certifiable fair trade standards, which means there is little concern about the environment or the people who work hard to bring your sweet treat to a store near you. Those that do however will display the words Fair Trade on their labeling, making it easy for the consumer to be aware that they have kept up with the requirements necessary to be certified fair trade.
One notable chocolate manufacturing company that does not flaunt a fair trade certification, however surpassed fair trade standards and brought their harvesting and processing techniques to a remarkably high level of ideals. Kallari, the only line of world-class, certified organic dark chocolate is operated by an indigenous cooperative of organic cocoa growers who gain 100% of the profits for which they work so hard.
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Are you ready for the annual Boorito celebration at Chipotle Mexican Grill? This Halloween from 6pm to close come in to your local Chipotle wearing a costume inspired by the family farm and score a $2 burrito, salad, bowl, or order of tacos. All proceeds up to $1 million will benefit Chipotle Cultivate foundation and Farm Aid.
You will also have an opportunity to enter their costume contest in which they are giving away over $7500! There will be one grand prize winner for $2500, five runner up prizes of $1000, and 20 runner-up prizes of a burrito party for 10. To enter the contest, simply take a photo of your family farm-inspired costume inside or in front of a Chipotle restaurant (I suggest you make sure a sign or two are showing) and submit it by uploading or texting it to Chipotle (full contest rules). Contest winners will be displayed in the winner gallery on November 15th.
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It’s spring, and everything in the Pacific Northwest is abloom. I’m thrilled, as I’m an avid gardener, and just last year, discovered the culinary pleasure of homegrown snow peas. Plump, sweet and crunchy, bugs could seem to care less about them, and my then seven-year old would make any excuse to go outside and devour his own body weight in green vegetables.
Yes, you read that right- a seven-year old eating green vegetables!
Gardening is not just a hobby. For those of you following the Peak Oil Crisis and the resulting Cuban diet, soon enough, gardening will be a means of survival. A very real scenario in the next forty years is that oil prices will make transportation of food economically unviable. Pressure on local farmers will outstrip supply, and only those who grow their own foods will have readily available access to fruits and vegetables. Meat will become scarce in urban areas, and dairy will become a luxury few can afford. We are already seeing nearly $5.00 for a gallon of milk, and the cost of gas, to transport that milk, is nearly the same.
In Italy, the term “risorgimento” refers to a re-birth or re-unification, now a way of life for most Italians. Roughly translated, they live on the same land with which they source the things they need to live. The first step is learning to live on less. Isn’t that what a diet is all about?