iReport: Make a dish with ethically produced chocolate
January 24th, 2012
01:30 PM ET
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Tens of thousands of children toil in cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast, some against their will, to create the chocolate bars that many of us enjoy.

In a CNN Freedom Project investigation, David McKenzie traveled to the West African country and discovered that despite promises the global chocolate industry made a decade ago to end forced labor, there are still child slaves harvesting cocoa, even though some have never tasted chocolate and some don't even know what the word "chocolate" means.

It can be hard to find ethically produced cocoa, but the "fair trade" designation helps ensures that farmers receive a fair price and prohibits the use of slave and child labor.

We invite you to create a dish using fair trade chocolate, with bonus points to those who make a delicacy that’s special to their country or region.

Submit a photo or video showing off your creation, and tell us about the experience, including any obstacles you faced in finding or using fair trade chocolate. Please include the recipe you used.

The best submissions will be shown on CNN International, Eatocracy and the CNN Freedom Project blog.

Get started with the iReport assignment. The deadline is February 29.

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Filed under: Bite • Buzz • Chocolate • Dishes • Food Politics • iReport • News • Slavery

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Filip

    @matt3the1rose? Oklahoma State had one bad game. Iowa State is a good team i'm not gonna lie. But Iowa state cmniog into OUR house thinking they are the shit ain't gonna work with the Sooners. We aint gonna be a second top 10 loss to an unranked team sorry.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:54 am |
  2. Robert C

    Lovely – you'd think they could have at least included a link to a list of ethical chocolate makers – now I won't know if my Hershey's or Reese's or Ghiradelli's are nice guys or just Satan's tasty temptations!

    January 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  3. Michael

    Ummm... wow. I take it that the Hershey's eaters aren't exactly chocolate aficionados. Fair trade chocolate, by definition, is high quality and - in my opinion - ten times more delicious than Hershey's, despite it being six times the price. I encourage y'all - just try a bite!!

    January 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    chocklate is everyones dream. put some broken up pieces in a dish and walk away and upon your return the dish that once held chocklate has dissapeared. So now that we know the majority of the population from carly in diapers to my husband & his friends and family loves that dark colored treat that stretches from the East to the West, lets take advantagf of Feb 14 sweetest day of the year, and eat or buy that special person, we hold dear in our hearts some choclate

    January 27, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  5. Reilleyfam

    Sorry, I'm sticking with good ole patriotic Hershey bar. I think it's ethical to to keep those folks in PA employed & whether it's a poor mans chocolate or not I like the square plain bar. It's also cheaper.

    January 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Don44

      With the Hersey School bigotry against children with HIV disease, neither the school nor their largest contributor deserves any support.

      January 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • don

      Uhhh. Hersey moved to Mexico last year.

      January 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • BC68

        If your going to make blanket statements, make sure you have facts.

        January 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  6. realist

    You don't actually expect us to give up chocolate or pay more for it because some other country "unethically" produces it do you? I mean, you don't see the poor in this country give up welfare or food stamps because the wealthier pay a greater percentage in taxes?

    January 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Reilleyfam

      Uh, your analogy is backwards – it would be the rich giving up stuff because the poor pay MORE in taxes than they do. At 13% Mittens pays less than a welfare recipient.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
      • Slammy

        That's what yo' Momma said. Here, lick the stamp like a good boy.

        January 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  7. sockpuppet

    the problem is, you can't really know if ANYTHING you eat is ethical unless you grow raise and cook it yourself, from the flour to the veggies to the meat to the dairy. If you buy your stuff from an organic company, the reality is that you have no idea what conditions the laborers are working under or what pay they receive etc. Even your local farms.

    January 25, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  8. titi

    I like mine with marshmellows and graham crackers.

    January 25, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  9. jim

    How about those of you who only want "ethically produced chocolate" telling us what you want to do about the slave children. Who among you will adopt one? They have no other source of food than that given to them by their masters.

    January 25, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  10. Emma

    If it's hard to find "ethically produced" chocolate (and it must be because this is the first time I'm hearing about it) how are people supposed to know if their chocolate is ethically produced or not? I buy Hershey's. Since I pick it up at the grocery store, I doubt that I will stop eating it even if it's not ethically produced. The Whole Foods market is 45 minutes away from me by car. I really do feel bad for children who are enslaved in a terrible country that would allow such a thing to take place, but I have to think about convenience. I'm a housewife with a 15 month old and chocolate is what gets me through my day!

    January 25, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • BTS

      How about ordering online? The cost may even be the same and you get better convenience by having it delivered to your door. I'm sure your local store carries some as well. Below are two websites that tell you what brand to look for and how you can get it online. I'm sure I've seen the Endangered Species chocolate at my local store. Let's help each other to better understanding and kindness.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:25 am |
    • sockpuppet

      just for the record, it is quite expensive. Most people are less concerned about the convenience than they are the price

      January 25, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  11. Relictus

    Look, slave chocolate just plain tastes better. What's not to like? And chocolate is cheap, I can buy a candy bar for $1!

    January 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • JuneCleaversbeaver

      Sweet !!!!!!!

      January 25, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  12. EPicLulz

    next we will have a chocolate regulating agency, make sure no one sells blood chocolate from south America.

    January 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  13. Robert Marshall

    What's wrong with you people? If I didn't suspect you are just kidding, I would really be ticked off. As it is, I can only assume you are Republicans of the male gender and are probably less than 5'7" your selves. Too bad they allow just anyone to post a comment.

    January 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • JJ Fare

      Female; Canadian; 5'8"; Liberal; awesome; god-like; sense of humour

      January 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
      • JuneCleaversbeaver

        Ummm you left out : FAT !

        January 25, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • jute

      But of course Robert. Lets just stick to only your point of view since that is all that matters to you. Maybe we could have all the other nasty opinions removed.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  14. Rodney North

    Hmmm – but where to find Fair Trade, organic chocolate?

    We offer a 10 varieties at:
    We work with 5 different co-ops of organic farmers in Peru, Ecuador, Panama, & the Dominican Republic. Even the sugar is fairly traded.

    Other cool Fair Trade brands include Tcho, Sweet Earth Organics, & Divine.

    In Canada you gotta look for Camino brand – Canada's Fair Trade chocolate pioneer and leader. (+ they're a worker co-op, which is cool). see:

    January 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Nicole Lulham

      Thanks Rodney!

      For more info about Camino, be sure to check out our website: or follow us on Facebook (Camino Amigos) or Twitter (caminolala).

      Like Equal Exchange, Camino works with producer partners in Central and South America – a total of 18 producer co-ops across 10 countries, supporting over 35,000 family farmers. All of our products are Fairtrade and Organic certified!

      January 26, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  15. Huh?

    Personally, I make sure my chocolate has been harvested by naked women, thin but not gaunt, usually redheads, above 5' 7" tall. It helps if they speak with a French or Italian accent, but that's not as important.

    After watching them harvest the cocoa beans, what is made from them is entirely inconsequential.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • JJ Fare

      Yeah, I would definitely agree with you. Last weekend I made a pudding, and let me tell you, I could tell that those redheads were under 5' 7". It just wasn't the same.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Robert C

      Of your five points, I fully support the first, and encourage whoever does it that way to publicize their products!

      January 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
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