Friday, November 18, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 18: Poundcake and Slavery Today

A little more baking. I bought milk to use for some recipe and had some left, so then I sought out recipes to use up milk. I found this Japanese recipe, which also called for using tea leaves, which I also had a lot of, so this was the result - milk tea poundcake.

I still seem to have a problem with converting Japanese recipes to American measurements.I don't think the cake is supposed to have those large air holes. And some parts are denser than others. Oh well, more to improve next time. I forget if it was this recipe or another, but it called for making milk tea (boil milk with tea leaves in small pot) and adding it to the flour mixture, instead of adding the milk and tea leaves separately. That was awesome, it made the cake so much more fragrant, will definitely have to remember that step even for other milk tea cakes.
Today's Reading
I've known that slavery isn't a thing of the past. I remember when the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking was founded. I remember the freed workers from the El Monte sweatshop and the great work of Julie Su and others at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. I know women and children are still trafficked and used as slave labor in various industries like agriculture, manufacturing, restaurant work, and of course the sex trade. But until I tried out the Slavery Footprint tool developed by Free the Slaves (found on Tiger Beatdown), I hadn't realized or thought about the pervasiveness of slavery in products and services we consume every day.

I apparently have 41 slaves working for me. Holy moly, how awful. The major culprits seem to be cars, clothes, shoes and electronics. Stuff that everyone around me has as well. Like the blogger on Tiger Beatdown says, it's great that this Slavery Footprint tool has a pretty explicit "Take Action" section. I appreciate the thought of mobile apps to find out the slavery history in various products but I can't imagine a lot of things these days that don't have some sort of slavery in its production history, whether they are all "Made in the USA" or not.

I didn't even realize that the Department of Labor has released a List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. (Way to go, Hilda Solis!) It's an important study and I hope more people can be made aware of it.

This is such a heartbreaking issue, yet it's sort of mind-numbing, the magnitude of the situation today. It's hard to imagine what I as one person can do, even if I try to consume less and spread the word. But I guess that's better than nothing, so hopefully I can educate myself a little more on this issue and get the word out.

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