For us at Simple, Good, and Tasty, Halloween turns out to be a little bit problematic.
Most of the reasons for this are pretty obvious: most candy isn't local, isn't healthy, and isn't fair trade. Last year's post about fair trade chocolate and reverse trick-or-treating elicited strong response from readers who wanted to enjoy their treats without feeling guilty about it.
I get it. I like treats as much as anybody I know (even my bio describes my love for gummy worms), and I was terrified of retribution from trick-or-treaters the year my Dad gave out boxes of raisins. Chocolate is a weakness of mine, yes, as are gummies, twisties, twirlies, and all sorts of things that haven't been invented yet. Like I said, I get it.
My kids will dress up for Halloween, walk the streets until their feet hurt, collect gobs of candy, and eat at least half of it before they forget the rest is there. Hardly any of the candy they eat will be fair trade -- most of it won't even get to sit near fair trade candy in the grocery store -- but almost all of it will be delicious. I will almost definitely ask for a piece or two on Halloween night. I might even steal one when my kids aren't looking.
So now you know who you're dealing with.
And yet, I couldn't possibly let this Halloween go by -- during Fair Trade Month (check out yesterday's article for more background), no less -- without suggesting that we be more mindful of the candy our kids are eating and do what we can to support companies that offer viable, delicious, fair trade, organic solutions that we can all feel great about. Here goes:
- Equal Exchange is a fantastic company focused on supporting organic farmers and cultures all over the world. Equal Exchange offers mini chocolates in bulk, which can be purchased via their website or at your local co-op. These chocolates are not only organic and fair trade, they're also super delicious. Equal Exchange has lots of other great products too, including coffee, tea, bananas, and larger, gourmet chocolate bars (I'm a big fan of their new Chocolate Caramel Crunch With Sea Salt).
- Alter Eco is another terrific company with a strong focus on supporting organic farmer co-ops all over the world. Alter Eco makes all sorts of delicious chocolate bars (my favorite is their Dark Velvet Chocolate), and although they don't sell mini versions of them, I highly recommend giving the products a try. Alter Eco also has lots of other tasty organic, fair trade products, including rice, quinoa, tea, and coffee.
There you have it. Fair trade candies are not healthier for us and they cost more than the alternative. So what? They're absolutely better, I'm completely convinced. So what will you be handing out to the kids who come to your door in costume this year?
If you have other suggestions or know of any other fair trade candies, please let us know.