Vanilla nice, nice, baby (Day 364)…

fair-trade vanilla

Everyone always talks about fair-trade chocolate, but why not vanilla? It’s just as important. In fact, as an ingredient, it’s probably used in more products than chocolate — nearly every pastry, baked good, dessert item, jam and so on includes either vanilla beans or vanilla extract.

Ben & Jerry’s launched their fair-trade vanilla ice cream in 2006, complete with online photo albums of their growing operations in India, Paraguay and Ecuador (on a side note, B&J are also working on a prototype for thermoacoustic fridges powered by sound waves, their employees offset all air travel, their climate “hoofprint” is climate neutral, they use free-range eggs, their brownies come from a kitchen that teaches cooking to the homeless and they’re currently looking at converting their ice cream waste into energy with a bio-gas digester … could Vermont get any crunchier?).

Anyway, I got the Frontier brand vanilla flavour but there are other varieties out there, and you can read a bit more about all the fair-trade certification requirements here. Either way, I’ll be making sure all my vanilla from now on is from as ethical a source as possible.

Of course, some forms of vanilla are just never ethical.

Image licked from this website

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17 Responses to Vanilla nice, nice, baby (Day 364)…

  1. MamaBird says:

    Never heard of this! Will have to try for investigative purposes, thanks. And happy almost year?!

  2. Lori V. says:

    I’m sure Texas isn’t top on the delivery lists for the fair trade flavors… though I’ve seen lots of Chunky Monkey and Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler in the stores! LOL!

    Hey, tomorrow’s your blogiversary! Mine’s today… come see me. What are you planning for your last day’s change? I can’t wait to see.

  3. Deb in MA says:

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for this. I have never seen it, but I do plan on investigating and making the suggestion to my local store. Thanks!

  4. just ducky says:

    I knew it! I knew you would HAVE to have a picture of Vanilla Ice and I’m SO glad that you didn’t disappoint!

    Day 364 has got to feel pretty good, huh?

  5. anon says:

    In Toronto, Chocosol sells awesome vanilla beans. (Not strictly speaking fair trade, but from a community they have close relationships with and treat fairly.)

  6. Samantha says:

    Without a freezer to keep this cold are you spending today eating an entire tub of icecream? Celebratory icecream binge?

  7. Chile says:

    I don’t want to think about vanilla. A CSA friend was supposed to bring me 2 dozen, TWO DOZEN!, vanilla beans from his trip to Africa but he couldn’t find any. Waaaaaah!

    Would that have been fair trade? He would have been getting them direct from the farmer, probably…

  8. Ave says:

    Any one know of a source of fair trade vanilla extract?

  9. pat says:

    2 days!
    Just dont give up your mum for one of them!

  10. arduous says:

    Dude, Vanilla Ice rocks. Don’t mess with the Ice, ya hear?

  11. Simmons says:

    Awesome blog – I’ve added you to my (green) blogroll. I’d appreciate it if you linked back.

  12. kimberly says:

    nice, ben and jerry’s is awesome. too bad i’m lactose intolerant =( enjoy!
    and damn, i didn’t realize it was almost over… my mornings aren’t gonna be the same…

  13. megs says:

    I think the panic is starting to set in!! What will I do when you are done? Who will be my environmental inspiration? Vanilla is good (no more a heavenly scent) but I find ice cream loathsome (too creamy & cold).

  14. Interesting! I never new there was such a thing as fair trade Vanilla. I’ll have to search it out. I commend you on your 365 day challenge again something worthwhile looking into. I watched a documentary a couple of weeks ago about jeans being made by 12 year old girls working 16 hour days, not designer jeans as you might expect but for Wallmart of all places. I’ll never by clothes at Wallmart again. Is there a magazine or website that informs the consumer and helps them make responsible choices? If not, Why not?

  15. Evan says:

    I don’t think that “nearly every pastry, baked good, dessert item, jam and so on includes either vanilla beans or vanilla extract.”

    What they have is vanillin: Today, artificial vanillin is made from either the petrochemical guaiacol, or from lignin, a natural constituent of wood which is a byproduct of the paper industry (Wikioedia)

  16. I knew it! I knew you would HAVE to have a picture of Vanilla Ice and I’m SO glad that you didn’t disappoint!

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