Your Political Mouth

It is possible that I have been taking some of the posts at Grist too much to heart, but I heard a story on PBS NewsHour yesterday before I headed into the grocery store and it stayed on my mind.

The story is about more than free trade cocoa beans but hearing about Kuapa Kokoo, a cooperative that coordinates sales of Ghana’s high quality ingredients and then profit shares to build community assets like schools, I suddenly got what fair trade means.

I likened it to when I choose to dine at Craigie on Main or Bondir even though the prices are higher and sometimes the choices are limited. I believe in the ingredients they use and I am hoping that they pay a fair wage to their employees (yes, I should try to confirm that).

The point is one we’ve all heard before: use your fork to vote. And don’t just vote for the best restaurant, but for fair treatment of the people who are helping you have a good time, for taking care of the planet, for ingredients that are healthier for you and the environment, for sustainability.

If you don’t think much about your food or where it comes from, I  am begging you to start. Give it a shot with your favorite food, something you love and would hate to see go away. And try to get it organic or fair trade.  Talk to your friends about why you made a decision that day to try a different brand. If your first taste of fair trade does not suit your palate don’t give up. Try organic brands and local brands. Go to the farmer’s markets and trade your dollars for a flat of berries still warm from the sun and eat them all right there because you can’t resist the aroma. There is no tastier form of activism, but it takes some attention. It’s not a new idea, but we all have to remember to practice it.

Eat well. Eat with the world community in mind.

And when you get a chance eat with the world community!

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