Cooking is a passion for many, but few may know where the ingredients they’re using actually come from or the possible conflicts behind obtaining those items.
One group in Bethlehem is hoping to raise awareness of the importance of using fair trade ingredients while cooking and baking with a unique event. This Saturday, May 10, members of the Fair Trade Bethlehem Campaign will be holding a Fair Trade Fun Day and Bake-Off at the Bethlehem Public Library.
“The idea behind it is to let people know there is more to fair trade then just coffee and chocolate,” said group spokeswoman Anna McMahon.
Bake-off events are becoming popular with fair trade groups throughout the country. The competitions are meant to be a fun way to help people learn about the movement. McMahon said fair trade products are “made in safe, environmentally responsible working conditions, without the use of child labor or forced labor.”
She added that producers of those products receive a fair price, plus a premium to be spent on social or business development projects.
“Through fair trade, small-scale producers, farm workers and artisans in developing countries are able to earn enough to support their families,” said McMahon. “They can afford to send their children to school instead of requiring them to work, giving them a chance to break out of the cycle of poverty.”
Anyone can enter the bake-off, and dishes can either be sweet or savory. The only rule is two ingredients used in the recipe must be fair trade products. Judges will taste each entry to determine a winner. The prize is a Fair Trade Baking Kit, provided by Fair Trade Campaigns USA, which features sugar, rice, quinoa, cocoa, baking chocolate, chocolate chips and coffee.
Those who enter the competition must also make enough for the public to sample during the event.
The Fair Trade Fun Day will also feature children’s games, crafts and informational activities. Since the event is at the library, there will be no items for sale, but some vendors will have information available so items can be purchased at a later date if anyone sees something they like.
“We hope kids will have fun playing and learning about other cultures,” said McMahon.
Those interested in participating in the bake-off can do so by calling McMahon at 522-5003, or emailing [email protected] The Fair Trade Fun Day and Bake-Off will be held Saturday, May 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Bethlehem Public Library.