Ethical Baking Goodies List

Ethical Goodies List

(Most if not all can be found at your local grocery stores or cooperative.  If not, you can check out the Natural Candy Store or google the brands websites!)


Fair Trade and ethically sourced products tend to be a little higher in price.  However, the quality is much, much higher than conventional products. Plus, most brands, unless specifically stated organic, sustainably /ethically sourced or Fair Trade, use child labor, slavery, and make their laborers work in horrible, inhumane conditions. Children often are forced to work from 6am. until late in the evening and are frequently forced to use tools like chainsaws….  So, by supporting the brands listed below you are taking a stand against these conditions and using your dollars to vote for a better world! If you cannot find much information on the brand you are researching, I can almost guarantee they are not ethically sourced.  Brands like Mars chocolate have made empty promises to be sustainably sourced by 2020 but have made few moves to do so. Many companies are very secretive about where their ingredients come from.
Please take a look at how your
Food is Power.

 

Chocolates:

  • Tony’s Chocolonely
  • Theo Chocolate
  • Alter Eco
  • Unreal (the equivalent of Fair Trade M&M’s!)
  • Equal Exchange
  • Endangered Species Chocolate
  • Divine Chocolate
  • Green & Black’s
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Candies:

  • Theo Chocolate has Fair Trade  peanut butter cups-great alternative to Reeses Cups. These usually can be found at Martins or Giant
  • Unreal can be found at Target, The Common Market, and Martins.  Great Fair Trade alternative to M&M’s to add some color to your goodies!
  • Wholesome has organic and sometimes Fair Trade gummies, lollipops, and even sugar at comparable prices at nearly any grocery store you go to.
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There are so many ethically sourced goodies out there, but these have been my favorite over the years. Let me know in the comments what YOUR favorite brand is!

Fair Trade is…Social Work?

We as professional and student social workers of a responsibility to follow our Code of Ethics that we agree to follow by pursuing a career in the field.  We have the responsibility to challenge social injustice, address social problems, and respect the dignity and worth of a person as well as empower our clients. As we know, unthinkable tragedies revolve around our chocolate, sugar, coffee and clothing.  People are trafficked, abused and children are even forced to work for next to nothing a day.  Most companies, if not all, are fully aware of this, yet turn a blind eye for the sake of profit.  We as consumers in turn are able to purchase cheaper products…but at what cost?

After knowing how my products are made, I cannot in good conscious by conventional sugar, coffee, chocolate or clothing, I just can’t.  Especially after committing to follow my professions code of ethics. So… what do I do?

According to the National Association of Social Work (NASW) international social work is “The functions of social work in international development are diverse. They include direct services in communities, refugee camps, orphanages, hospitals, and schools, as well as supporting the efforts of national governments, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernment organizations to enhance social well-being.”

You have seen me talk about Fair Trade…a LOT, but let me insert a little reminder.  Fair Trade “enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, fishermen, consumers, industry, and the earth…”  They also believe “…that everyone wants to do what’s right – for their families, fellow global citizens, and the planet… Based on the simple idea that the products we buy and sell are connected to the livelihoods of others, fair trade is a way to make a conscious choice for a better world. A choice for Fair Trade Certified™ goods is a choice to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protect the environment. In other words, it’s a world-changing way of doing business.”

In short, Fair Trade works with communities, farmers, and their families all around the world.  Fair Trade may or may not have licensed, professional social workers on staff, however, in a way, Fair Trade as an organization is a form of macro social work, creating healthy, respectful, fair working environments for workers.  Therefore, as a social worker, you can be confident in following our code of ethics and purchasing your everyday items by seeking the Fair Trade seal.

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If you have additional questions or concerns, please follow the links provided in the article or leave a comment.  Thanks!

Fair Trade-The Social Movement

Imagine waking up every morning and living a life that is not your own.  Imagine being beaten, stripped of your dignity, deprived food, water, shelter, money, and education. That’s the reality of modern-day slavery. You are forced to do one task, all day for at least 12 hours a day, with little to no pay. Most people when hearing the word “human trafficking” they automatically think of sex trafficking.  However, this can include housekeeping, forced marriage, carrying water, fishing, performing sexual activities, harvesting crop, sewing, etc, etc.

Sadly, this is the reality for over 40 million people globally.  Thankfully, there are dozens of organizations trying to combat modern day slavery.  One of the biggest ways people have fought to work against modern day slavery is through the Fair Trade Movement.

The Fair Trade movement began back in 1946 when a woman named Edna Ruth Byler began importing needlecrafts from low income women in South America.  She laid the groundwork for the first Fair Trade organization, the Mennonite Central Committee.  Closely followed by SERRV International, in 1949, both organizations had a goal to develop fair trade supply chains in developing countries.  The products were almost exclusively handicrafts sold by volunteers in “Charity Stores” or “Ethnic Shops”.

Since the 1940’s, over a million small-scale producers and workers are organized in as many as 3,000 grassroots organizations and their umbrella structures in over 70 countries in the South. The products are sold in thousands of World-shops or Fair Trade shops, supermarkets and many other sales points in the North and, increasingly, in sales outlets in the Southern hemisphere.

Now there are over 1.66 million farmers and workers spread across more than 73 countries participating in Fair trade.

With Fair trade you have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their future and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.

Buying Fair trade is easy. There are over 4,500 Fair trade products from coffee and tea to flowers and gold, so when you shop, look for the FAIR TRADE Mark.

Women’s March 2017

So we all know Donald Trump was elected president of the United States and sworn in on January 20th of 2017.  We also know of the many, many, sexist, racist, homophobic and degrading comments he has made over the past few months leading up to his election.  For decades he has been making degrading comments about women, from telling Esquire magazine “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [they] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” in 1991 when George HW Bush was US President, to continually bashing female actors/politicians on their appearance when he can’t win an argument on intelligence alone.  Oh, but better yet, a video was recently released from 2005 where he discusses “grabbing (women) by the p****” and stated that “when you’re a star, they let you do it”.

This is who we elected to lead us.  To lead our mothers, daughters and sisters.  I have seen many people on Facebook and other social media platforms defending him by saying “oh, that’s just what men say.  Even your husbands and boyfriend do it”.  Thank you.  Thank you for making our point for us.  We are FULLY aware that many people think it is acceptable to discuss women this way.  The point is, it SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTABLE TO DEGRADE WOMEN ON A DAILY BASIS.  We are more than our bodies, we are more than our sex appeal, more than the makeup we may or may not wear, more than a number on a scale.  So you may make comments similar to Trump or defend him, but if you do-YOU are part of the problem.

Obviously Trump is our president, I do agree it is silly to claim that he is not.  I do not resent this fact because of the political party I side with. It is not because I believe in pro-life or pro-choice. If this march had been organized against any of the other Republicans who ran for the position, I would not have marched.  This is not about politics.  This is not Democrats against Republicans.  This is about standing up and not accepting our leader to use the language that he has in the past.  This is showing that sexism will not be accepted from anyone.  That is why I marched.

Women for decades, of every race have fought hard for where we are.  For our right to vote, to work beyond the household, and own our own property without being a piece of property ourselves.  We will not go backwards, and that is what the march was about.

Fair Trade Fall List 2016

Fall is finally upon us!  This means cozy sweaters, hot coffee and lots of sweet treats!  However, as we are enjoying these things, it is important to know where our products are coming from.  I understand it can be overwhelming, as I have been the same place as you may be in.  Where do I start? How do I still enjoy my fall favorites while still casting a positive mark in our society?  Well, no worries!  I have compiled a list of some of my favorite brands I have discovered (or they just deserve some extra love again!) over the past few months.

Kicking Horse Coffee– I just discovered this brand of coffee last week, and I have to say, I am already quite impressed!  They offer bags of fresh coffee as whole bean or pre-ground for those busy mornings.  To order or get more information, you can visit them at the following link. https://www.kickinghorsecoffee.com/en

Krochet Kids Intl- I am pretty sure that I mentioned this lovely company before, but they deserve a little more recognition! I have bought several shirts as well as a backpack from them.  The clothing is honestly the softest apparel I own and holds up well.  As for the backpack, it can seem a little pricey but after I bit the bullet and purchased it, I fell in love.  Their products are so unique and hand signed by the lovely woman who created it.  To visit their site you can visit the following link. http://www.krochetkids.org/

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Pact Apparel- If you are feeling a little uneasy about shopping online, Pact Apparel can be found at your local Whole Foods!  Their leggings last forever (no, seriously, I have had mine for two years and they’re still great! No pilling, rips or snares).  If you think about it, investing in high quality products now, will save you a lot of money in a long run.  I used o have to buy leggings regularly due to ripping and pilling, but these hold up a long time! Their socks are incredible as well. They offer clothing for men, women and children!  To start shopping, visit here. https://wearpact.com/

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The Level Collective- For the inner explorer, this brand has such a lovely assortment of apparel.  Based in the UK this company collaborates with different artists to bring you ethical adventure apparel.  Again, a little on the pricey side but buying one, high quality shirt will save you from having to purchase several flimsy, fast fashion t-shirts over the months. To learn more, visit the following link. https://www.thelevelcollective.com/shop/

The Level Collective Adventure apparel who we are

 

Equal Exchange- You can find pretty much anything here.  Coffee, bananas, tea, chocolate and olive oil!  You can find their products at your local Costco, Martins or even Food Lion. http://equalexchange.coop/products

 

 

Apolis- And of course, we can’t forget about the men!  There are a lot of women’s apparel sites out there, but I feel men’s products does not get enough attention. They can be a little pricey but their styles are timeless and so classy! They offer pretty much anything from fragrances, to belt and accessories to apparel and books.  I highly recommend checking them out! https://store.apolisglobal.com/

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Most of these companies are having sales and offering coupons in celebration of Fair Trade Month so it’s a great time to  get started in the journey of an ethical life style!  Shopping secondhand is also a good start as well.  It’s better to use what we have, rather support the fast fashion industry.  As always, if you have any questions, I would love to help! Feel free to contact me on any of my social media platforms.

 

 

 

Let’s talk about the “F” word

An abundance of people seem to get the terms “man hater” and “Feminism” confused.  While browsing social media I have seen far too many posts from people claiming they do not need feminism because men respect them.  They haven’t been raped.  They haven’t been cat-called.  They have never been abused, bullied or harassed because of their gender.  However, what is commonly forgotten is that while the United States may have modernized (a great deal, though sexism is still alive and well [we’ll also ignore wage gap for now]), that does not mean that the rest of the world has.  Approximately 62 million women around the world are still denied the right to education.  Millions of women still don’t even have the opportunity to learn to read.

“In Iraq, a woman wishing to obtain a passport has to ask her father’s, brother’s or uncle’s written permission. Similar laws exist in Malaysia, Qatar and Libya. In Egypt and Iran, the woman needs her husband’s agreement to obtain a passport” (Sandbrand,  Discrimination enforced by law: women’s struggle around the world).  In many countries, including Syria girls can be forced to marry at ages as young as thirteen.  In the DRC girls can marry at 16 while boys can’t until they are at least 18 years old.

Feminism is about bringing awareness to social issues related to gender and minorities.  It’s about fighting against sexism towards men and women, whether you are gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, pansexual, or bisexual.  What it isn’t, is the hatred of men, or anyone actually.  It is simply the fight for equality.

 

You may not Feminism.  However, just because you do not need it, does not mean other women around the world do not.  Please don’t ridicule and judge those around you who are trying to stand up for women’s rights around the world.