Fair trade certifiers are screening to make sure that cacao farms are child-labor free and pay workers a living wage. To ensure that you're buying bon-bons that are healthy for the Earth and consumers, too, look for the labels certified organic and fairly traded, that is, grown without fossil-fuel-derived pesticides and pesticides that harm local communities and ecosystems, and with conditions and pay that meet worker welfare standards.
Choose dark chocolate, which lowers blood pressure almost as well as does medication, recent studies show. That's not license to go hog wild, of course (not that you would). If you enjoy 3 and 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate a day you get the blood-pressure benefit. That's 500 calories, but hey, we just squandered 350 calories of our daily allowance on a yogurt parfait.
Mom will be happy you're trying to help her health with something so virtuous and sinfully good. What more could she want besides organic Victoria's Secret?
The chocolates below are certified organic and fairly traded, and can be bought and sent online. Many are also sold at Whole Foods and other stores. Give yourself a dose today, and ship or hand-deliver to Mom.
Gorgeous artisanal bon-bons, preservative-free so they MUST be eaten within 2 weeks, from Theo.
Sweet Earth's chocolates in peppermint, butterscotch and more are also vegan.
Get good earthly value with the solid Maya Gold bar from Green & Black
Extras can include almonds and fairly traded sugar in bars from Equal Exchange
Shaman Chocolates are grown by the small Huichol tribe in Mexico, their bars covered in paper so bright that gift wrap would be redundant (and wasteful)!
La Siembra's vegan chocolate bars come in mint and espresso.
This article originally appeared in Plenty in May 2008. The story was added to MNN.com.