Tagged farmers

Let’s Talk Chocolate Now

cacaobeans

I haven’t done a foodie post in a while, and I stumbled upon a link a couple of days ago (I *think* it was Jenn who shared it, sorry, can’t remember for sure) — about chocolate manufacturing practices that are unfair to cocoa farmers, etc. Today I read an article on the ebola crisis and its relation to a possible chocolate crisis, prompting this post.

So before we talk about chocolate, let’s pray:

Jesus, healer of the sick,
Your heart was filled with compassion for the sick and suffering
and you traveled to all the towns and villages, curing every disease and illness.
We ask that all of those infected with the Ebola virus may feel the healing power of Jesus:
Comfort for all who mourn the loss of loved ones
Protection for all those who are vulnerable
Support for all health workers who risk their own lives to care for others.
Let your compassion be more contagious than any disease or malady so that we may generously respond as you would. Amen.

Source: http://crs.org/prayers/prayer-for-people-suffering-from-ebola.cfm


I have two requirements for meeting chocolate needs 😀 — fair trade and organic, and there are a few companies I’ve patronized the past few years that keep raising the bar (pun unintended 😀 ) both by their continuously innovative flavor combinations and their commitment to sustainability/renewability and to the farmers who grow this universally-loved treat. As a Catholic I don’t agree with every single one of these companies’ beliefs/practices, but I do see that they’re trying, and I love that there are concrete ways to help promote the social doctrine of the Church while at the same time stuff our faces with addictive things. 😀 I kid. There’s usually chocolate in the house but we only have a bite or two daily. Everything in moderation. 🙂

No, this is not a paid post — years ago I’d do a chocolate post every now and then, highlighting new finds, but fell out of that habit. So hopefully this will make up for lost time. Without further ado, my current favorites, in no particular order:

Theo. Info on their cocoa beans here.

theoraspberry

Stefoodie’s Faves: Sea Salt, Raspberry, Orange, and Cherry & Almond. The Ginger is okay too.

An old favorite, Chocolove. Chocolove’s practices.

chocolovecherries

Stefoodie’s Faves: Cherries in Dark Chocolate, Currants & Almonds in Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate.

guajillochipotlechoc

Vosges — probably the most daring out of all the manufacturers I’ve tried. They’ve been doing weird stuff from Day 1. 🙂 Their green initiatives.

Stefoodie’s Faves: Pomegranate/Goji and Guajillo/Chipotle, and of course, Bacon and Chocolate, though I really want to make a Dark Choc/Bacon combo myself, one of these days. I wanna try their Matcha bar

lemongingerchoc

Another old fave, Equal Exchange. Partners, Products and Practices.

Stefoodie’s Faves: Dark Choc with Raspberries, Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt, Lemon Ginger with Black Pepper.


Both my parents have amazing stories about harvesting and eating cacao when they were children, and they have fond memories of helping make cocoa tablets called tablea. Until recently they’d still bring these roughly-shaped, homemade tablets — not storebought but farm-direct — back to the US after visiting the Philippines, but sadly that culture is lost to us, their children and grandchildren… so it always fascinates me to read about cacao farmers and wonder about their daily lives. Let us continue to pray that this disease is eradicated and precious lives are spared.

A donation can be sent directly to St. Joseph Catholic hospital in Liberia by clicking here, or click here to donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Local Farmers Warned Us That This Would Happen, But Did We Listen?

USDA Report Indicates That Organic Labeling Fraud Is Increasing

To find a local farm near you that can supply you with pasteurized milk (among other things), click on to Local Harvest.

If you’re interested in raw milk direct from the cow, find a place to get it here.

To find better/more honest alternatives to “USDA Organic” click here.

Want more info on who owns whom? Click here.

Rod Dreher and Michael Pollan Table Talk

Two of my favorite writers — Rod Dreher and Michael Pollan — talk food. Must read!

Some helpful resources:

Slow Food USA
Local Harvest
Eat Wild

And information:

a YouTube Playlist: Torn From the Land: The story of the take over of American farmers’ land by financial manipulation of world grain, interest, prices. The end result was the acquisition of family farms by corporations for 5 cents on the dollar.

Plus, how timely is this? Archbishop Migliore: Investing in Sustainable Agriculture