Food

Fair Trade and Equal Exchange

SO THERE I WAS, STANDING IN THE RAIN IN CHICAGO. THE YEAR WAS 1999, AND I WAS AT YET ANOTHER PROTEST. THIS ONE WAS IN FRONT OF STARBUCKS.

fairtrade FoodWe were demanding that they start carrying Fair Trade coffee. Starbucks had hired some guy in a suit to deal with us. Suit immediately swooped in after our spokesperson was whisked away by television reporters.

Then Suit began to spin. He alleged that Starbucks coffee really was fair trade. No dice. I was well-versed on the issue, and could debate the difference between “fair trade” and “certified fair trade”. I navigated through his inaccuracies point by factual point.

Suit was obviously annoyed. Indeed, he looked downright shocked when our relentless group refused to discuss this inside the store over a cup of coffee, and continued to stand in the rain with our signs and flyers, petitioning customers to demand that Starbucks carry certified Fair Trade coffee. He seemed to wonder why all these folks were making such a fuss about some beans.

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Organic: To Buy or Not to Buy?

Let’s face it. While eating 100% organic food is an ideal many strive for, a variety of circumstances (such as financial constraints or simply convenience) make it impossible not to sometimes fall short. But how do you juggle the desire to minimize your consumption of pesticides with limited organic produce selections and your dwindling pocketbook?

The Dirty Dozen (and the Clean 15)
Luckily for us, the Environmental Working Group has put together a list of the most heavily contaminated fruits and vegetables. Their research has found that those eating from the Dirty Dozen list consume an average of ten pesticides a day. These are the fruits and vegetables you’ll want to always buy organic, or otherwise avoid entirely. So make sure your spinach is organic, Popeye. Vegetables included in the dirty dozen are celery, spinach, kale, bell peppers and potatoes. Fruits that are sprayed heavily are much more prevalent and include peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, cherries and imported grapes.

Read the rest of the article here. (PDF)

Top 10 ice cream shops in the Twin Cities

icecream FoodWho knew that the Twin Cities would become the veritable capital of ice cream? We’ve got more than our fair share of ice cream shops–including fresh, store-made treats in unique flavors rather than chain stores rescooping tired old flavors day in and day out. The only down side is that many ice cream shops close in the dead of winter, but fear not. Our list of 10 will give you plenty of options for this month, as well as some places to look forward to visiting in the spring.

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5 great kitchen gadget gifts

wandblender Food It may seem like your foodie friend has every kitchen gadget known to man, but with a little bit of snooping you may learn there’s one that they’re missing, or always wanted to buy but never got around to picking up. Here are five options for relatively inexpensive gadget gifts for your favorite foodie. Find them at local kitchen supply stores or even at many co-ops.

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