3 cheers for organic chocolate that supports its producers!

January 26, 2007

I said a few weeks ago no more Hershey’s for me after the last few bars in my freezer disappeared, at least until or unless the company changes over to supporting fair trade and a decent livelihood for the small farmers who source cacao. OK, I’ve been sampling several “qualifying” brands easily available at Whole Foods. So far my fave is the Endangered Species Extreme Dark Chocolate bar, with 88% cocoa content. Sublime! The darker the better!

This company’s philsophical commitment is to Albert Schweitzer, the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner who espoused living with Reverence for Life — a simple motto yet filled with elegance and respect for literally everything that lives. It’s “the first spiritual act in man’s [sic] experience.” That’s special to me for a personal reason:  Schweitzer was one of my gurus during high school, figuring prominently in my graduation speech.  To be honest, I haven’t adhered to his high standards throughout my lifetime, but they’re a worthy goal to keep on striving toward.

Schweitzer wrote that reverence for life is the ultimate, and universal, ethic. “As we know life in ourselves, we want to understand life in the universe, in order to enter into harmony with it.” At a young age he was moved to action by the sight of cruelty to animals, so much so that he composed a short prayer to add to his bedtime prayers:

“O heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath; guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace.”

Funny how something that influenced me several decades ago as a kid has resurfaced as such a powerful motivator for my interest in animal care and human interactions with animals today.  And it took a chocolate bar to remind me!



  1. I have a few of those chocolate bars in my cupboard already, but I didn’t give much thought to where they’re from. I have to learn more about Schweitzer -I’m so moved by what you’ve included here.

  2. Hi again, Christy —

    cool way to keep in touch! I’ve just learned about a couple more companies that make fair trade organic chocolate and will post something about them soon. One is a church youth class that’s selling stuff on eBay as a fundraiser for Heifer!

    b j

  3. Dagoba and Green & Black’s also have great tasting organic chocolates – and nice stories about supporting local producers. I bought a whole box of Dagoba Conacado 73% which is Fair Trade Certified. Also, I have been buying in bulk since it is cheaper than buying by the bar at the store.

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