Chocolate, Cheese, and Whey

Some people from the Quiet Lounge at school are boycotting foods made with meat derivatives and/or chocolate (due to slave labour used in the harvesting of cocoa). Here is some information on common meat derivatives, and chocolate:

  • ...gelatin is made from boiling the connective tissue such as skin, cartilage, and bones left over from the meat processing industry. In foods, its purpose is to gel or firm up liquids to a soft yet solid state, such as marshmallows. Gelatin is found in a variety of candies, including gummy bears, jelly beans and panned eggs, and also as a stabilizer in cheese, ice cream, jams and margarine. []
  • Milk is coagulated by the addition of rennet. The active ingredient of rennet is the enzyme, chymosin (also known as rennin). The usual source of rennet is the stomach of ... calves. Vegetarian cheeses are manufactured using rennet from either fungal or bacterial sources. []
  • There is a surprising association between chocolate and child labor in the Cote d'Ivoire. Young boys whose ages range from 12 to 16 have been sold into slave labor and are forced to work in cocoa farms in order to harvest the beans, from which chocolate is made, under inhumane conditions and extreme abuse. This West African country is the leading exporter of cocoa beans to the world market. Thus, the existence of slave labor is relevant to the entire international economic community. Through trade relations, many actors are inevitably implicated in this problem, whether it is the Ivorian government, the farmers, the American or European chocolate manufacturers, or consumers who unknowingly buy chocolate. []

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