Thirdeyemom

The Dark Side of Chocolate

Author’s note: This is a guest post by fellowONE Mom Chelsea Hudson who blogs at Do A Little Good. I got to know Chelsea and her work online as part of a wonderful group of Mom bloggers who advocate and support ONE, a grassroots NGO whose aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. I read this post recently on her blog and have been considering the issue ever since. Here is a story that is bound to make you think especially with Halloween coming up soon when millions of dollars of this kind of chocolate is being sold. 

Screen Shot of huge chocolate company, Hershey's, Halloween page.

Screen Shot of huge chocolate company, Hershey’s, Halloween page.

The Dark Side of Chocolate by Chelsea Hudson

I just watched the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate. It hit home on many levels…

First, it’s about children. Children as young as seven years old.

child-slavery-and-chocolate-the-bitt

You see, I have children. I have a seven-year old. So when I hear about violence and injustice happening to children anywhere, it matters. Deeply.

Secondly, it’s about the source country where children are trafficked from – Mali, West Africa.

Map of West Africa. Photo source: Wikipedia Free Commons

Map of West Africa. Photo source: Wikipedia Free Commons

You see, I spent a summer in Mali in 1997. In Timbuktu, to be exact (Tombouctou). When I was there, I made a little friend in a boy named Josef. He was probably 7 or 8 at the time, maybe younger. I can still see his face in my memories and heart. I gave him my watch (a cheap digital watch from Walmart) and his parents kept it safe so older relatives would not steal it from him. I left a part of my heart with that watch. I wrote back and forth with his mother, through a missionary translator, for several years after I was there, keeping up with Josef’s well-being and family. What if it had been Josef who was trafficked?? You see, he matters to me. Deeply.

Issues of injustice in our world seem far away, out “there”, wherever out there is, until we can see a face, or picture ourselves or someone we are close to in the midst of that injustice. Somehow, then it matters more. It seems real. Because it IS real.

Moms and Dads, you have children. This issue should matter to you. After all, it’s simply by luck of the draw that they were born where they were and your children were born where they were. 

If you are having a hard time grasping the significance of this issue, like I had for a long time, please take the time to watch this 43 minute documentary sometime this evening. Yes, its hard, its sad. But its real. And it matters. THEY matter.

And then come back here later this week for some FUN, EASY, CREATIVE and age appropriate ways to include your kids in this fight against injustice.

Remember Tsh’s post on Simply Mom? Here is her advice for including the kids in on this issue:

TELL YOUR KIDS THE TRUTH.

You don’t need to go into graphic detail, but I think it’s perfectly legit to tell your kids that as a family, you can’t, in good conscience, buy mainstream chocolate because those companies use kids just like them to work really hard for almost no money, that they often get hurt, and that they can’t go to school because of chocolate.

Let’s change the status quo by impassioning their generation to practice ethical buying now.

Bio:
476536_10150614149688195_141794894_oChelsea Hudson is a mother of three girls, wedding and portrait photographer and passionate abolitionist. Chelsea’s journey into activism began 3+ years ago as her eyes, mind and heart were opened to the atrocity of human trafficking, both domestically and abroad. As an ordinary, suburban American women, she struggled to find her place, specifically as a mom of three small children, in this critical fight for justice. This quest led her to start the website http://www.doalittlegood.com in an effort to share the creative, simple ways she was discovering she could, and did make a difference by doing her little bit of good right where she was. “No man makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he can do only a little.” ~Sir Edmund Burke

27 comments

    • This post is awesome. I watched the documentary twice. Once with my son and once alone. I am NOT buying the traditional chocolate for Halloween. We need to collaborate more!!!! Let’s chat…

  1. Wonderful post, thank you! C.R.E.E.R is hoping to build our rehabilitation centre next year to provide a residential, vocational shelter for trafficked children in Cote d’Ivoire. Our team was thrilled to receive CNN’s Richard Quest & team who have just been to film in Cote d’Ivoire & this will be a follow-up to their previous chocolate film!

  2. This is a great post, thank you! It is very important to spread the word and make more people comprehend that they can make a difference.

    • Yes. I loved the post too and am glad my friend Chelsea shared it. I hope to do more research on different kinds of fair trade and ethical products. It is frightening how many of the things we eat and have are brought to our markets in such terrible ways.

    • Yes it is true. I plan to uncover more of these stories at it scares me how our products come to the US and global markets. I want to be more ethical or at least have the knowledge to know what is going on. Time to start researching!

  3. Sas

    Reblogged this on Sasieology and commented:
    Please, please, please take 45 minutes out of your day to watch this important film. As always, spread the word and shop responsibly.
    To my fellow Brits – Remember, even though Cadburys sell Fairtrade chocolate, they are still owned by Kraft – this issue is just as big here in the UK!

  4. I love my dark chocolate and had no idea this was occurring. I am going to have to reconsider. Thanks so much for posting this Nicole.

    • Yes it is hard but there are some great links to good, fair trade/ethical sites on the post (see the link to “Simple Mom” and she has lots of resources. Lots of stores sell dark chocolate that is really good and hopefully not made by the big co’s like Nestle and Hershey who sources their cocoa beans this way.

    • Thanks so much for the reblog! I meant to post your post but am out of town and a friend of mine had this post recently on her site. I fell in love with it and know that it helps CREER as well. Please keep me up to date on what is going on with CREER and perhaps I can do a follow-up post soon.

  5. mmamotsisi

    Reblogged this on mmamotsisi's Blog and commented:
    Chocolate just wont taste the same after one watches this Doccumentary. I had to repost it here so that we can all see the rality of human trafficking.

  6. I’m very sorry to break the news that U.Roberto Romano (of ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’) died today, he was a talented filmmaker & a great supporter of C.R.E.E.R. R.I.P Robin, we’ll not give up the fight!!!

    • What? The journalist who wrote and directed the film? What happened. That is terrible! He didn’t seem old at all. Very said but yes his work must be kept up. RIP.

  7. It’s a massive loss, I’ve put a tribute up to him on our blog, he was a great supporter & for someone so busy, always had time to talk about how to go forward with C.R.E.E.R. We hadn’t yet met and I was sure that we both had many years ahead of us to meet somewhere, sometime to talk face to face about child trafficking. Sadly it wasn’t to be; Robin left us in his 50’s but he his name will live on, he won’t be forgotten!!!

    Bizarrely – Miki Mistrati his partner on ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’ & ‘Shady Chocolate’ released that trafficking film (I posted above) the day before Robin died.

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