But to make it up to you, on Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00-5:00 we're having a FitH with two very special guests: Matthew Hoffman and Astrid Lindo. They're a young couple from Marin who've started the Living Seed Company. This is a video on seed-saving they produced for Positive Spin on Free Speech TV. It's not the entire segment as it will air, but you can see a portion of it here.
Matthew and Astrid are helping me launch the Giving Seed Investment Club. For several years I've been piloting a way to create investments that support local sustainability and generate donations to global charities.
One of these experiments has been the I-Rise bread we've featured at FitH, which is FINALLY back on track this week after Gardner's back injury. It's been a long trek through the bread desert to get back to the mecca of wholesome grains! Gardner has helped us raise hundreds for Food in the Hood causes, along with being our faithful first supporter who said, "Don't give up. Things just take longer than you think." He was right and now look at us!
Matthew and Astrid are looking for "seed capital" in the literal sense of money to buy the seed stock and to print this year's packets. But they also share an interest with me in supporting global seed banks. Together we've come up with a creative way to combine growing and giving, along with a neighborhood class on spirituality that's not afraid to get down and dirty! Come hear all about it.
Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic) is home to more than 165,000 Palestinians—making it the largest city in the Palestinian West Bank. The city is famous for leather shoes, avant-garde blown-glass vases and qidreh, a fragrant dish cooked in clay pots. It is also notorious for settler violence in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. And now Hebron is becoming increasingly known for an agricultural project that sets the standards for access to food in that city and across the occupied Palestinian territories.
Grassroots International's partner, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), established Palestine's first comprehensive seed bank in Hebron in 2003, shortly after their staff traveled to Syria where a similar seed bank broke ground as the first in the Middle East. UAWC representatives returned to Palestine energized to revitalize their agrobiodiversity and protect their land from confiscation.....
Read the article by Salena Tramel
At the same time we'll be raising funds on Saturday for a West Bank Seed Bank in Palestine. Our friends at Grassroots International are partnering with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees who have established the first comprehensive seed library in Hebron, the West Bank's largest city.
This next week we start the chocolate holidays - Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. So it's time for my annual child-labor-in-chocolate campaign. With our GirlUp group we watched the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate. The girls were very moved and wanted to know why more people weren't aware of the children trafficked onto the cocoa plantations that supply Hershey, Nestle, Mars, Callebaut and others.
This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the signing of the Harkin-Engel Protocol – an agreement by the country's largest chocolate companies, including Hershey's, committing to put an end to forced child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa by 2005. The Protocol pledged to develop and implement voluntary standards to certify cocoa produced without the "worst forms of child labor," (defined according to the International Labor Organization's Convention 182).
But we also felt that it was wrong to make kind people feel bad after they've bought candy for trick-or-treaters. So this year I plan to do what I did last year - make up mini-baggies of pink-yogurt pretzels, white yogurt almonds, and chocolate treats from Sunspire (who uses 90% fair trade chocolate, according to their manager.)
As we approach one of the most popular holidays for chocolate consumption, Halloween, there is a great way that children and families can help end child labor in the cocoa industry and promote Fair Trade – by participating in Reverse Trick-Or-Treating!
Reverse Trick-Or-Treating 2011For the fifth year in a row, Trick-or-Treaters will be handing Fair Trade chocolate back to adults, with informational cards attached, to explain the problems of the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade presents a solution. By providing children with a way to be active, hundreds of thousands of households in the US are getting the message that forced child labor will not be tolerated by our kids.
For more information and to order a Reverse Trick-Or-Treating kit by the October 11th deadline, please visit www.reversetrickortreating.org.
Questions? Contact Kylie Nealis, Reverse Trick-Or-Treating Coordinator at Global Exchange: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (415) 575-5551
Part of the problem is that there aren't good, fair-trade, kid-friendly, novelty chocolates. We want slave-free chocolate, not chipotle-acai berry 90% cacao. So next holiday we're going to produce our own fair-trade treats, and see if we can get a local chocolatier to join us. In the meantime we'll be raising funds for the International Labor Rights Forum, where Tim Newman (no relation to Newman's Own) keeps the spotlight on the issue, with help from Global Exchange.
On Sunday the 25th at 4:00 we'll be having the last of our outdoor events for the fall-winter season. We'll revisit the Voices of Angels project in Jos, Nigeria, for which we raised $700 and donated several used laptops on April 18, 2010. Shannon and John Frediani will be on hand to tell us about the first computer lab and virtual library ever installed in a Nigerian high school. Our own Betty Devalcourt will also tell about her trip to the project.
All of our recipes this week are from Discovery of a Continent: Foods, Flavors, and Inspirations from Africa by Marcus Samuelsson, chef of New York's Aquavit. I bought the cookbook at Starbucks where they donated $1 of the $17 price to UNICEF. Samuelsson comes from Ethiopia, and features their cuisine. Coincidentally my daughters and I just watched the film Black Gold which features Ethiopian coffee farmers trying to get a living wage for their coffee beans, which may be the finest in the world. In one particular scene they interview a bubbly new Starbucks manager gushing about how great Starbucks is, which then cuts to an emergency nutrition center weighing critically malnourished babies.
When the film came out in 2007 I went into Starbucks in Santa Cruz and LA with letters asking them to pay fair-trade wages to Ethiopia. I'm not sure if they did or if this $1 to UNICEF was their answer.