Saturday, March 10, 2007

Smart Chocolate: Raising Kids' Awareness

In the twentieth century, chocolate reigned as the ultimate indulgence for children. But chocolate bars (with their wine-pairings and their political agendas) have become a markedly adult commodity.

Luckily for the grade-school set, two new events cater to palates that are both sophisticated and under-age. Through April 8, the New York Botanical Garden is hosting Chocolate and Vanilla Adventures, a hands-on display of the Meso-American plants responsible for our most beloved flavors. And the International Labor Rights Fund (one of the groups behind the campaign for human rights reforms at Nestle) is accepting submissions for a chocolate essay contest. Third- to eighth-graders are asked "Why should young people in the US be concerned about child labor in the chocolate industry and what should they do about it?" while high-schoolers are given the question "Why is fair trade chocolate important to you?" ILRF will present all entries to the powers that be at Nestle, Hershey's, Godiva, World's Finest Chocolate, Cadbury, and M&M/Mars, and the organization will award winning students with fair trade chocolate bars. The submission deadline is April 2.


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