Knowledge brings responsibility, even regarding chocolate!

Two things I’ve learned in 2010: don’t give in to materialism and shop smarter.  After weeks of daily buying new things for our home I hit a wall: I didn’t want to shop anymore.  I fully admit, it was a new, weird feeling.  I have my own love affair with the “new” – new shoes, new smells good soap, new game to play or even a new gallon of milk has been known to give me that satisfied feeling that something new is about to be enjoyed.  Somewhere between that new shower curtain for the upstairs and the new rugs for the entryway, I lost my desire to swipe the Discover card.

I think it came in the midst of September.  I was getting involved in a new Bible study at church and with a mom’s group, MOPS.  Although these women looked good by 9:00 a.m., I felt less than put together.  It was also tempting to want my house to look put together.

But somehow I just didn’t give in and go shop for a new pair of pants, new curtains and rip up the carpet in my living room.

Ironically, we also have been finding ways to shop more wisely at the Asker home.  One reason: we have to live by a stricter budget now that we are in Duluth.  I have to think more about buying groceries, toiletries and miscellaneous paper products.  Another reason: we are learning about how to fight injustice in new ways.

Free 2 Work is an application that we have on our phones.  It helps us track down which companies are known to have a code of conduct, eliminating child labor involved in their product.  It is disheartening to read about major companies in our country that are getting away with child labor and exploitation overseas (and probably locally too).

One thing we are actually cutting out completely is non-fair trade cocoa.  There is too much to go into about this issue, but suffice to say, the cocoa industry is mostly corrupt.  We have done enough research to convince us!  And as our pastor has mentioned a few times in the last weeks, with knowledge comes responsibility.

We just returned from our National Staff Conference in St Louis.  Oh I could blog about that for a year… but one thing for sure was renewed for me: the vision that with Jesus, we really can change the world.

So watch out, executives in the cocoa industry, we in Duluth are watching!  And praying to see what we’ll do next…

to read:

http://www.equalexchange.coop/

http://www.divinechocolate.com/default.aspx

or an article:

http://www.crossing-borders-fair-trade.com/chocolate-slavery.html
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