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Many of you who have read my blog know I am chocolate-obsessed! Of course, the chocolate has to be vegan-friendly. But what I wasn’t concerned about for most of my life was the story behind the chocolate. Fortunately, the folks behind The Food Empowerment Project gave me an education.

I was so floored by what I learned about the chocolate industry–namely, the child slavery that is a regular practice within the cocoa industry–that I felt compelled to write a post about it to spread the word.

But, now I have more good news to share! I’ve been searching for baking chocolate chips that meet the criteria of the FEP “approved” chocolate list. It’s been quite a challenge! So imagine my delight (seriously, I was jumping up and down!) when my local health food store had vegan, organic, fair-trade semi-sweet AND bittersweet baking chocolate chips by Equal Exchange, who IS on the “approved” list!

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I haven’t yet baked with these chips, but I’ve enjoyed enough EE chocolate products that I have complete faith in these new products. Here’s the only down side: they were $5.99 a bag. I know that price point may seem high to many of you, but keep in mind that the price is a reflection of fair wages, ethical sourcing and good quality. And…chocolate is supposed to be a luxury; a treat. We’ve gotten away from these philosophies, and as a result, this lack of thoughtfulness has resulted in the cheap, mass-production of chocolate today. To that end, I personally am endeavoring to cut back on my chocolate consumption and pay a little more in order to support ethical standards.

Until products like these chips become more mainstream, here’s my tip for getting your hands on your own FEP-approved baking chocolate chips: What I do is I buy an ethical chocolate bar and break the bar in large chunks. Then, I throw them in my mini food processor and lightly process them into chunks that are perfectly sized for baking. So while these aren’t “chips” per se, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with chunks. After all, how many times have you heard someone say, “I’ll pass on the chocolate chunk cookie; I only like chips”? Ya feel me?

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I’m not going to pretend my chocolate consumption is always perfect, but I am heading towards better choices… and keeping my sweet tooth satisfied!

I hope you’ll consider doing the same 🙂

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