I'm getting such late start this morning. The boys have a two hour snow day and we all just stayed in bed. I love mornings like this until I realize that I still have a job to do and now I have to scramble! Eh, it's worth it.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to interview Lynn and Corey from Celebrate Green for a piece I'm doing on MNN. They mentioned something to me I hadn't heard about before. They were talking about chocolate, and they said when you're buying chocolate you want to look for a triple certification on the label - organic (know what that is), fair trade (know what that is), and bird friendly (huh?).
If a chocolate is certified by a third party as bird friendly, it means that the cocoa pods were grown in their natural habitat - in the shade of the trees that they are supposed to grow in. If the trees are cleared to make the cocoa beans grow more quickly - more sun equals more rapid growth but less quality in the cocoa - it destroys the natural habitat for birds. Some birds have become extinct or are facing extinction because of the clear cutting of trees to grow cocoa (and coffee and other crops).
There aren't a lot of chocolate makers who have this certification yet, but there are some working towards it. Two of the third parties who are involved bird friendly certification are:
I would also think that a product certified "shade grown" that is also organic would be considered bird friendly even without the particular bird friendly certification. If you read this, and I'm wrong about that, please let me know.