This is kind of a mash-up post…I’ve got a short review to share, and then I’m also going to answer a reader question.
I recently received a one-pound bag of Flavor Of The Earth Ceylon Cinnamon to try out.
Although I didn’t realize this before, the cinnamon we buy here in America is made from the cassia tree, and that’s not exactly true cinnamon. In small amounts, the cassia cinnamon is safe to use, but some people use cinnamon in much larger quantities for its health benefits. If you’re among that crowd, ceylon cinnamon is a safer choice because cassia cinnamon contains far more coumarin than ceylon cinnamon.
I don’t consume copious amounts of cinnamon, so I was more interested in the taste of it than in the coumarin levels. So far I haven’t used it in baking, but I’ve stirred it into my chai and made cinnamon sugar with it (for sprinkling on hot cereal).
The ceylon cinnamon has a much lighter color and a more subtle flavor than cassia cinnamon. It’s tasty, but I don’t know that I think it’s better than the cinnamon I’m used to-it’s just different.
So, if you eat lots of cinnamon for its health benefits, I’d say the ceylon cinnamon is worth paying more for, and if you enjoy trying different spice flavors, you may enjoy branching out and trying a different cinnamon. But if you just use cinnamon here and there, the regular stuff (I particularly like the Saigon cinnamon they sell at Costco) should do just fine.
I’m an avid reader of your blog and also a frequent Goodwill shopper. This morning I came across this article in Milwaukee Magazine that I found rather unsettling.
I knew that Goodwill offered job training and hired disabled workers, but I was not aware that on average disabled workers are paid $4.30 per hour. Wondering if you already knew about this practice and what your thoughts are on this?
I hadn’t seen that particular article, but I’ve seen some similar ones here and there. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to think.
I mean, on the one hand, it IS really awesome that Goodwill provides employment to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to be employed in the community, and also really great that they can get training and medical care.
So, I’d say that what Goodwill is providing is significantly better than nothing.
On the other hand, it does seem that the CEO and other high-level people in the Goodwill industry could spare a little of their pay to make things a bit more equitable for their employees.
Does this make want to stop shopping at Goodwill?
Not exactly. If I were to stop shopping at Goodwill, I’d have to stop shopping at a lot of other stores whose CEOs rake in the big bucks while their employees make very little. I’d also need to completely stop shopping at stores whose inventory is made by people who are paid low wages (a.k.a. most stores in America).
Should the disabled Goodwill employees be paid more? Probably. But it would hardly be more noble of me to shop at a store stocked with sweatshop-made clothing.
Which brings me to the other reason I’m not going to stop shopping at Goodwill: by stocking used goods, they’re offering us the opportunity to breathe new life into cast-offs and by buying used goods, we can obtain some of the things we need without depending on newly manufactured goods (which have a negative environmental impact and which are frequently produced by people who aren’t treated fairly).
So at least at this point, I feel like the good that Goodwill does outweighs the bad, and I think shopping there is, at minimum, as least as ethical as shopping at standard American retailers.
I’m really curious to hear what you guys think about the Goodwill issue…please do share your thoughts in the comments!