Phony Business

Yet again it was time to look inside the products we buy and discover the ugly truth about them.

Luckily, I hadn’t planned to buy a new phone anytime soon before watching the documentary Blood in the Mobile. In that documentary I learnt about Blood Minerals and how big companies don’t care about small boys working in mines. Here’s the story: Continue reading

Chocolat – Sinfully Delicious

Chocolate is a compliacted sin. And for once this is not about the weight we might gain from enjoying it – this is about the dark side of our favourite sweet.

Most of the chocolate we consume is produced in Africa – strangely enough we like to call it “Swiss” or “Belgian” Chocolate. I can tell you that there’s no chocolate plantations in either of those countries. Rather, chocolate grows in Western Africa in countries like Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire or Liberia – rather conflict-struck countries. Continue reading

Globetrotting Food

Going to the supermarket can be extremely challenging if you don’t want to buy products which have travelled more than you have.

Did you know that “Pringles potato chips are sold in more than 180 countries, though they are manufactured in only a handful of places”? Consequently, the consumer can have quite a hard time finding local products in the supermarket.

Continue reading

Poison for Locals, Minerals for Us

Children are dying in Nigeria thanks to one of the most valuable thing on Earth: gold.

Zamfara, a state in the North of Nigeria has a lot of gold. But the price to get it out is high. Lead poisoning in the area has already killed at least 500 children. Many more are struggling for their survival. Continue reading

Shrimp or School, That’s the Question

Thailand wants to be the number one shrimp producer in the world. However, the price for it is high.

Children under the age of 15 are not allowed to work in Thailand. That doesn’t avert “the employment of children in the industry supply chain, both under and above the legal working age, in hazardous working conditions”, Continue reading

A Fair Buy

We all know our products have a history. They are produced by people in an environment and by the use of resources.

That gives you a certain responsibility to take these aspects into account when you buy a product. That makes it rather complicated. Now, I have finally come across a tool which helps you to look Continue reading

I Might Need a New Phone

Blackberry, Xperia, Iphone, Nexus – new phones and types are popping up faster and faster. How can we even keep up the pace?

We are living in a time where right next to paper and glass recycle containers you can also find one for your cellphones. Continue reading

The Business of Helping

Helping – why not spending your holidays somewhere in Africa doing good? Or maybe Haiti?

Voluntourism has become big business. People want to feel good about themselves and their holidays; besides, the so-called humanitarian work shows off well on CVs. Continue reading

Honey Crimes

The bee world is in turmoil. From murder to honey laundering, the headlines have been bad lately.

We like to think of honey as one of the last realms of nature the human kind cannot control. “Honey is the epitome of a wild food.”, civil eats writes, and explains: “After all, bees can’t be herded and overfed like cattle, or immobilized like broiler chickens if they are to continue making the sweet substance.” The problem is that beeing free is what makes life dangerous for the bees. Continue reading

Transparency in the Supermarket

Today we are talking about the empowerment of buyers, the abuse of purchasing power and ecological standards. Ready?

The German food retailing is known to be the toughest market in the world. Prices have to be literally beaten down if one wants to stay in business. Slogans like “Keiner ist billiger” (Nobody is cheaper) and “Geiz ist geil” (Stinginess is cool) are all over the place. On the other side of the picture are the producers, the workers and the suppliers; they are the ones who pay the price. Continue reading