We wanted to take a few minutes and talk to you about two things near and dear to our heart: You guessed it, COFFEE and CHOCOLATE. What can beat the creamy deliciousness of really rich, dark chocolate, or the heavenly aromas and delicious tasting notes of authentic, local coffee?
Whether you're a coffee drinker or a chocolate lover (or, like me, both!), you most likely have a favorite brand or type you enjoy. Are you a milk chocolate fan, or dark? Do you like it with caramel, sea salt, or plain? How about your coffee? Do you like it black or with cream and sugar? Maybe cream or sugar? We all have our favorites.
But not all brands are created equal. Maybe you've been in the grocery store and wonder why people pay more – sometimes a LOT more – for higher end coffees and chocolates. But, as in everything, quality matters, and paying a little bit more to ensure quality, sustainability, and ethical responsibility is worth it.
You may have heard about "ethically sourced" or "fair trade" chocolates and coffees. What does that mean? Generally, it means that the coffee and chocolate you're purchasing and consuming has been grown, harvested, and sold using the most responsible and humane manner in the industry. Coffee and chocolate are heavily harvested crops, as the world's demand for these commodities is ever-increasing. By ensuring the products we buy are sourced ethically, we ensure that farmers are being paid a fair wage, the harvesting process is kind to the environment, and sustainable practices are being used on the farms and in the logistics process (as much as is feasible under current guidelines).
Look for icons on the packaging stating "Fair Trade" or "Sustainably Harvested" and know that your money is being spent on solving a problem instead of worsening the one that already exists.
AND A BONUS: Fair trade, sustainably grown and harvested coffee and chocolate is not only healthier for the environment, it's healthier for you, too! And a lot of the time, these products are organic, which further ensures a more quality product.
ANOTHER BONUS: Local coffee roasters make some of the best coffee – and they often source fair trade ingredients! Purchasing local is another way to help keep your world greener, healthier, and sustainable for future generations. (Short version: buying local products severely reduces carbon emissions from all those semis you see on the interstate [not to mention the trains and planes], along with providing income for someone right around the corner!)
So I don't mind spending a little bit more at the grocery store on these items, knowing I'm doing my part to ensure a more sustainable system for the future. After all, what would I do if all the chocolate and coffee ran out?!? Ahhhh!
What about you? Does this make you think a little bit more about where you source your coffee and chocolate? Would you be willing to try fair trade chocolate and coffee? We recently made a trip to Whole Foods and picked up a few of our favorites! (pictured above)
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Disclaimer: The recommendations in this post and on this site are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a qualified medical professional when changing your diet, fitness routine, medications, and/or lifestyle.