The last time Conor and I had friends over, they were a little horrified that we didn’t stock “real” food in our cupboards. In reality, we eat mostly organic and locally sourced food and very rarely have snacks in the pantry other than a bag of popcorn or granola. On occasion I’ll buy “bunny snacks, ” but recently I’ve been buying a few bars of chocolate to have on hand if one of us get a sweet tooth. More often than not the regular chocolate wasn’t getting eaten, so I decided to look for some new flavors, ethically sourced chocolate and fair trade options. We decided to switch to ethically made chocolate because of the hidden horrors of the industry, which include and are certainly no limited to child labor, poor wages and working conditions and slavery.
If you’re new to ethically made chocolate, here are a few things that you want to look for.
Fair Trade, Rain Forest Alliance Certified, Certified B Corporation, USDA Organic or Organic and either the use of no palm oil or Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. Each chocolate bar will not have every single one of these certifications. It’s up to you to think about what causes matter to you, and then you can purchase accordingly. You can also find ethical chocolate without these certifications, to have these different certifications the companies have to spend a decent amount of money to obtain and maintain their certification. Some small businesses cannot afford that or choose not to do it even though they have an ethical product. Below are a few of my favorite ethical chocolate brands and which certifications they currently have.
*Note this guide has not been sponsored by any brand or organization*
Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups// I am not a fan of peanut butter cups of any sort even though I love peanut butter. My fiance though was more than happy to try these out, and he says that these taste different than your regular “orange packaged” peanut butter cups, but they taste different because the ingredients taste purer. All the ingredients are organic, rainforest certified and use sustainably sourced palm oil. In addition to all that, it is also gluten free and has 4grams of protein!
Sweetriot// I’ve been a fan of Sweetriot for some time, and my local grocery store just started carrying the chocolate bars in addition to the nibs. Sweetriot is fair trade certified, supports farming families through fair prices and direct trade. They exclusively source from Latin America and are a Certified B Corporation. This bar, in particular, is NonGMO, Organic & Vegan. Also note, how beautiful the artwork on the wrapper is. 🙂
Theo// Theo is more than a company that sells ethical chocolate, they also do customizable treats for special events like weddings. They have countless different flavors, and I’m very excited to try their coconut bites. All their chocolate is soy free and organic. This bar, in particular, is organic, not GMO, and has 88% fair trade ingredients.
Endangered Species Chocolate// I’ve noticed that Endangered Species Chocolate is in just about every grocery store I’ve gone to. It’s a very accessible brand to purchase. I decided to try the coconut-filled dark chocolate and the individually wrapped dark chocolate squares. They’re both great; the coconut one is unique because it has a filling rather than hard coconut candy and I favor the small chocolate squares because I can toss a few in my purse and have some sweets on the go! This brand is organic, uses sustainable palm oil, is fairly traded, nongmo and gluten free. Both the bar and the squares featured here are vegan.
Like I mentioned in my 10 Steps to Becoming and Ethical and Conscious Consumer, it’s about making small changes to your everyday life that I totally doable. I’m not telling you to purchase only ethical chocolate from now on but every once in a while, treat yourself and do something that benefits others along the supply chain. So how do you feel about ethical chocolate? Do you have any favorite brands that you recommend me try?