fair trade

Support Fair Trade Month with Halloween Treats that are Easy to Stomach

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.

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Can a Locavore Eat Chocolate, Coffee and Bananas with a Clear Conscience?

Chances are, if you’re a regular visitor to this web site, you proudly support the mission of local, sustainable farms: you’re a member of your neighborhood food co-op; you shop at farmers markets; you subscribe to a regular CSA delivery; you spend your Saturdays crop-mobbing; and you eat in restaurants that are similarly committed to supporting local farmers.

Pat yourself on the back. You’re an informed and conscientious locavore – and darn proud of it. You care about your food’s origin, its environmental impact, and its connection to the community.

So, tell me: Is it possible to honor these values if you eat food that’s not grown within a 100-mile radius, maybe even a 1,000-mile radius, of where you live? Are you able to eat bananas, grapes and chocolate, and drink coffee and tea, with a clear conscience?

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October Simple, Good, and Tasty Bookclub Pick: Javatrekker

In honor of Fair Trade month, October's Simple, Good, and Tasty book club selection is Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee. In the book, author Dean Cycon -- founder of Dean's Beans Organic Coffee, activist, and entrepreneur -- describes the many issues and implications around producing fair trade coffee in Africa, Central America, South America, and Asia. Javatrekker is a fantastic mix of travelogue and social commentary, with a healthy dose of history, politics and economics.

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Alter Eco Offers Delicious Fair-Trade and Organic Foods You Can’t Get Locally

Maybe, like me, you live in Minneapolis, or someplace else in the United States where coffee, cocoa beans, quinoa, and rice don’t grow. Maybe, like me, those are some of your absolute favorite things, and you’re not willing to give them up. Maybe, like me, your spouse has even suggested that giving them up would be detrimental to your marriage. What are you going to do?

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What is Humane Food?

A few weeks ago, I got a text from my brother-in-law Jeff. He'd just discovered a restaurant he thought I'd love, and the message said, "it was awesome. Put it on your highly recommended list." Jeff has great taste -- I can't think of a time he's steered me wrong -- and I take his recommendations seriously. But Jeff doesn't get all hung up on how his food is sourced the way I do, and I didn't assume that his "it was awesome" meant that I'd feel good about it. I needed to ask.

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All I Want for Christmas: This Year's Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa:

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This Wednesday: Buy Fair-Trade Holiday Gifts and Benefit Land Stewardship Project

 I don't know about you, but I've suddenly realized, with a panic, how few shopping days are left before the December gift-giving holidays are here.

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This Halloween, Beware of "Tainted" Chocolate

This Saturday night, as you give candy to the little ghosts, witches, pirates and princesses who've come to your door yelling “trick or treat,” you may get something in return: A piece of chocolate. And an education.

This Halloween, thousands of children across the country will be “Reverse Trick-or-Treating” to tell grown-ups the ugly truth about the chocolate industry. To do so, they will distribute chocolate samples that are Fair Trade Certified and will be accompanied by cards that say this:

Thank you for the candy that you are generously sharing tonight.

Like Halloween, chocolate should be a source of joy for all children, including those in countries where cocoa is grown. Unfortunately, that is not the case today.


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Chipotle Restaurant Supports Florida Tomato Pickers

I've long been a fan of meeting people where they are. It's a strategy that offers a nice complement to "hitting them over the head," and is often perceived as more agreeable than "bowling them over with the hard truth." I'm not saying those techniques don't have a place - it's hard to care about real food (or anything!) and not get angry about it once in a while. Still, one must acknowledge that fast food isn't going away anytime soon, and - as a result - those who produce it in a mindful way can do the world some good. Which brings me to Chipotle.

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Lenny Russo: Why There's No Such Thing as Cheap Food

Lenny Russo photo by Kate SommersLenny Russo photo by Kate SommersLenny Russo has been considered one of the top chefs in the Twin Cities for more than a decade. He’s served as Executive Chef at W.A. Frost; General Manager/Chef at the New French Café; Food and Beverage Director/Chef at the Loring Café; and Executive Chef at Faegre's. In 2006, four years after he and his wife Mega had opened Heartland Restaurant in St. Paul, Chef Russo was contracted by Bon Appétit Management Company to helm the kitchens of the restaurants in the new Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, including Cue—a post he left in 2007.

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