Tasting a new, fair trade monthly food subscription
"Change the world with everything you buy". This is the tag line behind the inspiring Trade as One , a Northern California-based organization that promotes sustainable businesses in poor, marginalized communities. Whether you look at it as a way of giving during the holidays or as a new year's resolution, it's an ideal time to try a new program that could be habit-forming.
Trade as One recently launched a monthly subscription called Hungry for Change. Delivered to your door every month is a box including 4-5 foods, a recipe, and additional surprise items. The month I tried the box, it included Canaan sun-dried Palestinian couscous, Glorybee comapi honey, Canaan Palestinian za'atar herbs , and Kopali dark chocolate-covered espresso beans. The additional "surprise" gifts? A Divine chocolate candy bar, a greeting card featuring an artistic photo of a fair trade farmer, and a handy little book, The Better World Shopping Guide. The book is full of incredibly helpful lists and company ratings for best and worst offenders in purchasing everyday items from hair care to paper, alongside supermarket or airline choices.
A subscription is $33 a month or $99 for three months. Add on Coffee Club - http://tradeasone.com/get_involved/hungry_for_change/details  (choose regular or decaf) and 1-3 bags of fair trade coffee are included with your monthly shipment. A card detailing the story behind one of the producers in the package brings it home, making it personal. Trade as One's holistic approach urges changing buying habits. As they say on the back of their greeting cards, we can "fix problems instead of perpetuate them" by using our consumer power to positively affect change. I can think of few better food gifts to a friend, yourself and the world.
--Subscribe to Virgina's twice monthly newsletter, The Perfect Spot: www.theperfectspotsf.com