Just found out about the children enslaved to being me chocolate. Appalled, so I look up Nestle and find brands to avoid:Nescafé, Starbucks home coffees, Tollhouse chocolate, etc. more appalled. We gave up Starbucks home coffee a while back when the quality went down and the price went up. Apparently, they sold it to Nestle.
We do use Carnation instant milk, Nescafé instant coffee, and a few others things on the Nestle list. So I need to do this for the other major chocolate producers who signed an ethical pledge they haven’t honored. From what I gathered, “it’s too hard” is their excuse. You’d think if they can manage to get goods all around the globe, with 1,000s of employees and customers that managing one crop without slavery wouldn’t be beyond them. They have the money. Simple. You employ slave labor or wont tell me how those cocoa pods are harvested? Okay. I wont buy them. The market would change very quickly.
The older I get, the more I think that I should have become a hippy and stayed that way.
Does anyone know an extensive list of the corporations and their brands in one place? Don’t live in a place that could grow cocoa pods. Maple and birch syrups? Yah, but somehow it isn’t the same.
Lots of OK sweeteners, Maple syrup, agave , honey... none are chocolate!!! Nothing can replace it in my humble opinion. I should mention that I am a raging chocoholic....
Can't grow cacao in northern Montana either. I generally buy the costco chips (when available) I use organic dagoba chocolate in my coffee.
You can order outstanding rain forest old growth chocolate but you better have your checkbook handy. Liz won't let me order that anymore, says it is the same as offering an alcoholic fine single malt scotch.... I inhale it and want MORE!!!
You mention chocolate but also mention coffee and condensed milk. We order our coffee in 25 lbs bags from a distributor that brings it from Central America - this is the only thing we order online a few times a year that contributes to our CO2 footprint, I am ashamed to say. I roast it every 7-10 days in small batches and it comes out cheaper (about $4/lb, the last bag I bought was a Christmas special for $65 for a 25lbs bag so even cheaper) and I know what I am drinking and who I am sourcing from. For milk, find someone who sells it raw from their own cows and you can pasteurize it yourself. If you do not want to buy coffee, you can always grow chicory and use the root as a substitute but it will not taste like the real thing. As for chocolate, no substitute I have found and I do love it... Some things you just can't live without ;). As for sweeteners, we keep bees so honey is available to us. You can hook up with a local beekeeper, just make sure you get to know them and make sure they are treatment-free with their bees and that they do not feed supplemental sugar. As for corporations signing ethical pledges, I put very little stock in that, they all have a bottom line and they are all guilty in my books.
Do you have any organic grocery shops? They usually have Fair trade chocolate.
I am avoiding Nestle, Unilever etc. for years now.
It is a bit hard on the kids who want brand-specific chocolate bars. But they know I only ever buy the "good" stuff or they have to use their pocket money.
Even our supermarket has some fair trade chocolate, the organic grocery store even more, and if I wanted to go fancy I could go to the huge Fair Trade store 15 minutes by car (taking the big checkbook...).
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. (E.E.Hale)
There really isn't an alternative to chocolate. It's like suggesting that chicory root can be used in place of coffee.
I would look to the dessert traditions of cultures who existed without chocolate. You aren't really going to replace it. What you're going to do is find a flavour or flavour combination that is as complex and nuanced in terms of its flavour palate, but doesn't rely on slave labour.
It's a lot like people trying to replace meat or animal products, but thankfully without a couple macronutrients and several vitamin groups and amino acids hanging in the balance. I mean, sure, you can grind a bunch of plant material together, using mushrooms, nuts, and various vegetables in combination to try to replicate taste and textural elements. Personally, I would just grill a portobello cap instead.
I think you've identified a point of maximum effect where permacultural practices might be of use, along with coffee cultivation.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Jennie, I think you might have an easier time dealing with the companies like Equal Exchange Co-op that are doing it right, and are proudly wearing that badge.
If you just stop supporting the offensive corporations, you only go so far towards change... and they (especially an enormous multi-national like Nestle) might not even notice your 1/7,000,000,000th of a protest.
Buying from "good" companies, encourages a better, more fair, and just, food system.
You still get chocolate.
I was anti carob for years until I had it in...something. I wish I could remember what it was. Since then I've tried it in other things and found that I prefer it to cocoa in some stuff. Chocolate banana flavoured things I much prefer with carob, for instance. Carob gets beat on far too much, I think. It helps if you accept carob for what it is, a sweet, light, kinda chocolatey taste, that works in similar applications, rather than expecting it to be bitter, rich chocolate. Blame the application, not the ingredient. It's like hating tonka bean because it's not vanilla. 😁
Willie Smits: Village Based Permaculture Approaches in Indonesia (video)