My daughter made cookies again last night, for her dance teachers. There's a recital tomorrow and we bought some plastic jars to put the cookies in to give the teachers as gifts. Well, the teachers who aren't getting a beautiful hand-knit scarf with a homemade sachet get jars.
These cookies contain Ghirardelli chocolate chips. These chips stay softer than mainstream chocolate chips, but the only difference in the ingredients is they contain real vanilla as opposed to vanillin (artificial vanilla flavoring). The history of vanillin manufacture is interesting and worth a click on the link, but I'm just going to tell you that these days it's synthesized from petrochemicals. I stock my spice cupboard with fair trade vanilla, and I've been avoiding vanillin since I heard it was made from paper making byproducts (we pass a paper plant on the way to a friend's house and boy is it stinky!) but petrochemicals are even worse.
Anyway, I bought the Ghirardelli chips because I knew Hershey and Nestle use child slavery in their supply chain. But then I wrote Ghirardelli to see if they were any better. I think they might be, but it's hard to tell whether there's anything substantial behind all their talk. Here's an extract from their 2012 annual report.
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