Smart Eating

Good for you, and the planet!

What: Fair Trade chocolate, coffee, tea, sugar, tropical fruits and rice

Why: We breathe a sigh of relief when the latest study tells us that coffee is high in disease-fighting antioxidants and positively jump for joy when we’re given the green light on flavonoid-rich, blood pressure-lowering dark chocolate. But we consume these foods every day without a second thought for the people who grow and process them. The trouble is, for the most part, many of these products come from developing nations that may have poor working conditions, questionable human rights and labour laws and low standards of living . Fair Trade came into being to organize, educate and assure better wages for agricultural workers while also protecting farmlands by promoting sustainable practices. But Cronish warns there are imposters lurking in the grocery aisles, so look for the Fair Trade trademark. Learn what to look for at www.transfair.ca.

Farm to table: You might also consider CSA (community supported agriculture; go to www.biodynamics.com/csacanada for more information), where you buy shares in a farm or producer up front. It works like a magazine subscription; what’s delivered to your door is wholesome, sustainable food raised by a farmer or cheese-maker you know.

—Signe Langford