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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #251

Culinary no-no's



Take a look at this photo:

You see children, in Halloween costumes, each with a bucket or bag to deposit trick or treat candy. 

The kids await…

This all is quite normal, traditional, and appropriate. Which means that someone has to come along and mess it all up.

Another Halloween photo:

Those are exchange students from India, Indonesia, Mozambique, and Switzerland who joined trick-or-treaters in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. They're not looking for candy handouts. Oh, they’ll take your Three Musketeers. But their real intent is to give, not receive.

Drop a Twix in the kid's bucket and he/she will respond by handing back their own Fair Trade-certified, organic dark chocolate.  It's called reverse trick-or-treating, a campaign to heighten awareness about child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa. The yummy product winds up wrapped in scrumptious morsels in the states and elsewhere around the world.

Imagine the amazed look of a well-meaning adult who answered the doorbell to see 15-year Gaurav Noronha, a student from Mumbai, India. The man with candy in hand got a lecture.

"Farmers are paid more with Fair Trade, so they don't have to live in poverty and their children can get an education," said Noronha. "The farmers from whom this company gets the cocoa, they are paid fairly. Usually farmers are not paid well enough." 

There's also the guilt trip, complete with information packets containing pictures of child laborers 5-18 suffering from back and pain, we're told, just so we can devour chocolate.

Global Exchange, a human rights group, distributed 260,000 such packets nationwide this fall, so don’t be surprised if international public policy descends on your doorstep this Halloween.

Look, no one supports dangerous, unhealthy child labor practices. But trick-or-treat is not the proper time or place for grassroots politics of any kind. Nor is the exploitation of children during a time-honored tradition acceptable. We need to let kids be kids. And your neighbors aren’t interested in a face-to-face dissertation on global health. They just want to make kids happy and should be allowed to do so without getting blasted with a case of the guilts.

There are plenty of other ways for activists to protest child labor. They need to put the campaign on hold for a few hours come Halloween.

Nice costume, kid. Have a Tootsie Roll.



Enjoy Halloween candy despite the food cops.

How kids are getting tricked out of their treats.

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