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Trick or treat? Each Halloween, American kids dress like ghouls, hit the streets, and collect as much candy as their pillowcases can carry. But behind those fun-size treats lies some real horror: Most chocolate producers rely on cocoa at least partially harvested by child slaves. In recent years, select fair-trade manufacturers have gained traction in the chocolate marketplace by eliminating child laborers from their supply chains. But most fair-trade companies don't market their candies to kids. A hippie-dippy dark-chocolate bar isn't a very valuable commodity when all the other kids on the block are trading king-size Butterfingers. But there are some offbeat treats out there to satisfy your little monsters. Click through for a guide to the most kid-friendly fair-trade Halloween options.
Photo by Liz Dwyer
Earth Balls by Sunspire
Cost: $8.39 for 35 balls. That's $16.78 per pound of candy. In comparison, fun-size Snickers retails for about $5.32 per pound.
Buy at the Natural Candy Store.
Pros: Tasty, according to hippie Halloween-raised GOOD editorial intern Nina Lincoff.
Con: You'll need to eat 50 tiny globes to equal the amount of calories and sugar found in one Snickers bar. That would cost you $11.99.
Trick or Treat Chocolates by Sweet Earth
Price: $50 for 100 pieces
Buy at Sweet Earth Chocolates
Pro: Wrapped in Halloween-colored foil.
Con: Reminiscent of those gelt you got at Bar Mitzvahs.
Fair-trade Kit Kat by Nestle
Cost: 50 pence, plus airfare
Buy it: Only in the UK
Pro: It’s a Kit Kat! For real!
Con: Nestle's only fair-trade version of a mainstream chocolate bar—available exclusively in the UK—comprises a miniscule portion [PDF] of its mammoth chocolate business. Nestle has not eradicated child slavery from the rest of its cocoa supply chain.
Orange Small Bites by Sjaak's Organic Chocolates
Price: 35 cents apiece.
Buy from Sjaak's
Pro: Has the vague appearance of pumpkin. Plus, in a fair-trade Halloween flooded by straight chocolate products, these bites mix it up a bit with a hint of citrus.
Con: The organic dark chocolate isn't meant to appeal to the younger set.
Bug Bites by Endangered Species Chocolate
Cost: $33.99 for 64 pieces.
Buy from Endangered Species
Pro: Endangered Species offers a variety of products tied to the holiday, including these "bug bites," which come with an insect trading card. Finally, a fair-trade chocolate designed with kids in mind.
Con: When it comes to the chocolate itself, the company's products range only from milk to dark chocolate. Can we get some nougat up in here?
Organic Lollipops by Yummy Earth
Cost: $25 for 150 lollipops
Buy at Yummy Earth
Pro: A flavor for every palate, from Mango Tango to Pomegranate Pucker. Yummy Earth sidesteps the fair-trade issue by steering clear of chocolate, which relies heavily on exploitive supply chains. Sure, you could always opt to taste the rainbow, but Skittles are produced by M&M Mars, which relies on slave-harvested cocoa in its chocolate products.
Con: You shouldn’t need to put ‘yummy’ in the title to convince us to eat it.
Crunchy Milk Chocolate Bar by Divine Chocolate
Cost: $1.49 each
Buy at the Natural Candy Store
Pro: Just like a good-for-your-morals Crunch bar. Plus, the only thing funner than fun-size is full-size.
Con: It'll cost you.
Dark Chocolate Minis by Equal Exchange
Cost: 23 cents each
Buy at Equal Exchange
Pro: Equal Exchange's "Reverse Trick-or-Treating" campaign encourages kids to turn the tables, distributing the company's fair trade chocolates to adults to educate them about the importance of eliminating forced labor and child labor from the holiday. And at 55 percent cacao, Equal Exchange says its dark chocolate treats are "still sweet enough for kids to enjoy."
Con: Could still require a bit of a taste adjustment for the little ones.