Until sugar, chocolate, and coconut start growing in Vermont, we will need to continue to import some of our key bakery ingredients. But because we do not personally know the farmers growing these products for us, we rely on organic and fair-trade certifications to ensure that land, farmers, and farm workers are all treated with the respect that they deserve.
Put simply, organic crops are produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or GMOs. Being certified organic doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is better than its conventional counterparts. Not by a long shot. But when it comes to products like sugar and chocolate, choosing organic means that you are supporting farming practices that aim to reduce pollution, decrease water waste, and reduce soil erosion, all without the use of pesticides. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Organic sugar is also processed very differently than conventional refined sugar. Organic sugar is simply washed, chopped, and crushed to extract the cane juice. Then it is boiled, spun, and dried into crystals. Meanwhile, refined sugar goes through a multi-step process of clarification, decolorization, and then crystallized with some chemical assistance. No sugar is rich in nutrients (obviously) but because of its limited processing, organic cane sugar retains the iron, calcium, vitamins B6, chromium, magnesium, selenium, and potassium from the cane juice. Meanwhile, these are all considered to be “impurities” in the refined sugar world, and are washed away in the refining process, resulting in a final product that is 99.99% sucrose.
Just as important as the quality of the ingredient itself are the conditions under which it was produced. All of our sugars, chocolates, and coconut are not only organic but also Fair Trade Certified. This means that the farmers and their workers are paid a living wage, that they do not utilize any forced or child labor, workers have the right to form and join unions, employers are held to higher safety and health standards, and so much more. It just makes sense.
We use dark chocolate, white chocolate, and cocoa powder by Agostoni. Grown in Ecuador and Peru, processed in Italy.
Our fair-trade organic coconut is grown in Sri Lanka, produced by Multiple Organics.
Click HERE to read about our locally sourced ingredients.