Do you and your family participate in Halloween? Do you do traditional activities like dressing up in costume, trick-or-treating or giving out candy? Or do you do other creative things?
When my brother and I were kids, there was a big candy scare about whether our Halloween loot contained razor blades or poison. I remember my parents going through our stash with us at the end of the night to make sure nothing had been tampered with and throwing out suspicious-looking items.
These days there are other reasons to be suspicious. In addition to rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other health problems related to over-eating and high sugar consumption, on the production end, child labor has been well documented on cocoa farms.
How do we know whether our chocolate purchases support labor abuses in the cocoa industry? One way is to use Fair Trade chocolate such as Divine, Equal Exchange and others. In addition, this handy guide from Green America rates various chocolate companies according to child labor issues and explains the labels we see on products in the United States.
I've always preferred treats over tricks. Chocolate made with child labor is not a treat to me - it's a trick. Using Fair Trade ensures that treats really are treats - not only for God's children in the US but for God's children in cocoa-producing countries around the world.