Speaking in Chicago at Fair Trade Towns Conference

I’m the keynote speaker at the Fair Trade Towns conference this weekend in Chicago October 26-28th. I’m speaking on Friday evening, but will probably hang around most of Saturday too.  I’d love to see you there.  It will be the first time I’ll share some of my adventures from Where Am I Eating?
Register here. If you aren’t sure what Fair Trade is, I just wrote an essay for Triple Punditon my experience with Fair Trade coffee growers in Colombia.

What’s your favorite Fair Trade product? What questions do you have about Fair Trade?

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F@#K Kelsey Timmerman: A precautionary tale to teen tweeters

“F@#k Kelsey Timmerman! I’ve got better things to do than go to his event!” 

This was a tweet I read before a speaking event at a university this year.

“Sorry to hear that,” I responded. “Do you have some shows you’ll be missing tonight?” Basically I was saying, “I see you.”

Right before I was about to start speaking, a student stepped back stage.

“Mr. Timmerman,” the student said, looking remarkably like a puppy with his tail between his legs, “I’m sorry for that tweet. I didn’t mean anything by it. It’s just that I never knew about this event and had other plans that I was disappointed to cancel.”

I accepted his apology. I told him that our in person actions are…

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The Time to Be Awesome is Now

Forget decision 2012 (For a moment. You better vote in a few weeks!). Forget Obama vs. Romney. Check out the Kid President. This dude is hilarious and inspiring. His messages:

Be awesome now.

Choose fun.

Don’t be in a party. Be a party!

If people keep throwing balloons in your face, DANCE!

He recorded this video for Krochet Kids International. I saw CEO Kohl Crecilius, CEO of KKi, speak at Ball State last night. I believe that we aren’t going to shop our way to a better world, but what we buy does make an impact. And KKi’s hats are making a big impact by employing 150 women in Northern Uganda. Each of them signs the hats they produce. I’ll write more about KKi later, when I add…

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The Sweetest Place on Earth

After a great week, beginning with appearances in Rome, Georgia (One Book, One Voice, Georgia Highland College, Armuchee High School, Darlington School), and ending with a visit to Cedar Creek College, I’m in Hershey, PA. After meeting farmers in Ivory Coast that grow cocoa, I thought I should go to the American town that cocoa built.

I heard the Hershey  hotel had a whipped cocoa bath so I called up their spa.

“I want to sit in a big ol’ bath of chocolate.”


“I heard that you have something called a whipped cocoa bath?” I restated my slightly disturbing statement into a question.

“Yes we do,” the man on the phone said, “but they are only for women.  You could…

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Fair Trade Changes Lives – Can it Preserve Culture?

I wrote this piece for Triple Pundit in celebration of Fair Trade month.

“This is where the sun was born,” Migoel says of his home, Nabusimake. “If anything happened here, the world would end. This place isn’t just land; it’s spiritual. Can you feel it?”

The setting sun reflects off the clouds, washing the mountains to the east in a perfect pink light that photographers would wait for all day to capture. Migoel — a proud member of the Arhuaco, a group of indigenous people who live in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Northern Colombia — stops to let us “feel” the place.

What do I feel?


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Women helping migrants like Amilcar

Central American migrants ride atop trains to make a better life for their families in the United States. In some places, the locals are sick of the migrants and throw rocks at them, in others they throw bread. The women in this video are throwing bread and they rock.

So thankful people like this helped my friend Amilcar on his three month journey.

(Thanks to Rachel Taber of Alta Gracia for pointing me to this)…

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Octogenarian Threatens to Kick My Ass on Plane

I don’t recline my seat on airplanes. I don’t hold it against people who do, but I just don’t do it. It’s a point of pride and my way of showing a little Midwestern spatial respect.

So when I felt the jab to the back of my arm, I thought the person behind me accidentally bumped me. When I felt it again, I turned around to see a man in his 80s who looked more than a little like Uncle Leo from Seinfeld.

“Stop leaning back,” the man said in a weak, gravelly whisper. “You’re hitting my laptop!”

“I’m just sitting here,” I said. “My seat isn’t even reclined.”

Okay, I probably should have apologized even though I did nothing wrong other than shift my…

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Win a Fair Trade Gift Basket!


UPDATE 10/8/12 : This contest is closed. Ali Jenson won! If you still want to comment on if you buy fair trade or not, please do, but you won’t win anything

This year I’ve seen Fair Trade preserving a culture in Colombia, and it sending kids to school in Ivory Coast.  That’s why I’m so

pumped to kick off Fair Trade month (October) by giving away a Fair Trade gift basket provided by Fair Trade USA (see below).

All you have to do is answer the following question in the comments below, or on my Facebook wall, or on Twitter using #FairTradeContest.

Have you ever bought Fair Trade? 

A YES or NO is sufficient for entry,…

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