Shine the Light Project
Why Fair Trade?
In the hustle and bustle of today's society, it seems we're all so plugged into our electronic devices that most people don't stop and wonder, "Where does my food come from?" Several years ago, a friend of mine from Westover School wrote a great book called Kitchen Literacy. Ann Vileises was always curious and always asked the most intriguing questions in Mr. Coffin's English class. She was so smart that she graduated at the very top of our class and went on to travel the country in a cool van, writing about her travels.
One day, Ann was standing in the middle of a grocery store, holding a tomato and thinking to herself, "Where did this tomato come from?" But it wasn't just the tomato she was concerned about. It was the chemical -laden cereals, the canned soups and veggies, the lettuce, and the meat. Where did all of this food come from and who made it? This led to an all-out scavenger hunt to investigate the history of food production in the United States. Ann's search led her to unearth the history of the Olden Days, when pioneers harvested their own wheat and raised and killed their own meat and poultry. As times changed, manufacturing changed the way people lived teir lives, with more and more people seeking jobs outside the home. Folks in cicites had to find different ways to source their food. Canning became a popular way to preserve fruits and vegetables, but what was put in the food to actually make it safe to eat months or even years down the road?
We've come a long way from the days when pioneer women knew exactly what their chickens ate and how they were treated. With the advent of the microwave and modern convenices like TV dinners, we've lost the knowledge of where our food comes from. There has been a collective awakening taking place, with many people demanding that their food be ethically sourced and environmentally sustainable. Thankfully, organizations like Fair Trade USA are helping companies certify their cocoa, sugar, or coffee, so that when you but Fair Trade coffee, you know that children have not been exploited in the making of your cup o' joe, your mid-afternoon candy bar, and many other products.
More and more, Fair Trade is becoming a household name, but it takes ordinary people like you to create systemic change. Learn about Fair Trade and why it's important for our global economy with this downloadable form from Fair Trade Resource Network.
And a video which tells the Fair Trade story:
You may think it's hard to find Fair Trade chocolate, coffee, and sweets, but check out what we've found at Shop Rite and Stop & Shop. check the organic section first, and be sure to look for the Fair Trade logos or UTZ Certified labeling. Enjoy your sweets with a good conscience. What are some of your favorite Fair Trade or Utz Certified Items? Contact us! We'd love to hear from you!