Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fantasy v. Reality - Chocolate

Yum!  Who doesn't love chocolate?  I've noticed that most of the candy found at the checkout stands at supermarkets in the United States contains chocolate.  It's difficult to find a sweet treat that doesn't.
Golden Chocolate
The sad truth about chocolate is that, unless you buy fair trade chocolate - which is difficult to find in most American stores - you are most likely supporting the trafficking and enslavement of children.  UNICEF estimates that about half a million children are involved in cocoa harvesting in the Ivory Coast, where about 40% of the world's cocoa is produced.  One study found that almost 2 million children in West Africa are involved in cocoa harvesting.  These children work as slaves under dangerous and unhealthy conditions.  Children as young as seven can be found working in the fields, many wearing torn, dirty clothing, bearing scars on their legs from the sharp machetes they use.  A 2010 documentary called The Dark Side of Chocolate highlights the child trafficking that occurs in the chocolate business.

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