Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sustainable Indulgence: Chocolate, Coffee, and Wine to Save the World

I was semi-guiltily munching on Sunspire chips and reading the label to make me feel better about my sweet indulgence. The chocolate chips have unrefined sugars and natural colorings. And they're so good! Then I read that Sunspire directly contributes in a positive way to the lives of their cocoa farmers. I went online to research; you can read more about their "Caring for Cocoa Communities" on their website.

That got me thinking about other indulgences that can make a difference through practices and policies promoting sustainability and social justice (which are closely related). Here's some of what I found out:

California wineries, producing 90% of U.S. wine, are moving toward organic and sustainable practices like more appropriate irrigation, the Organic Consumers Association reports.

Many wineries are offering biodynamic wines, which Jack Everitt of Fork & Bottle has listed.

Shade grown and organic coffees make a big impact, from improving the lives of the farm workers to providing or protecting habitat for migrating birds.

Tea makers are also moving towards sustainable practices, as reported on

Here is another nice blog about sustainable tea.

So - there you have it. We can have our cake, eat it, save birds, make agricultural worker's lives better, and reforest the land. Ask your local natural grocer to carry these products, buy them, and enjoy!

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