Monthly archives "August 2007"

Grapefruit and paint

With the first spring leaves already out, and the spring flowers out in force, the range of local foods is on the increase once more. I was delighted to see that grapefruit had made an appearance on the site this week. Also known as the “forbidden fruit” of Barbados, this nutritious fruit is high in vitamins and pectin, a soluble dietary fibre essential for a healthy colon.

Studies have revealed grapefruit to be cholesterol lowering, and there is evidence that their seeds offer antioxident properties.

Apart from these health benefits, there is no better way for me than to start the day with a freshly squeezed grapefruit juice!

There’s been some recent controversy about toxins in paint. Lead is a highly toxic substance in the human body. Recently, lead has been phased out of petrol, leading to an improvement in the lead levels of people living close to busy roads, especially vulnerable children. More recent research has focused on where the remaining lead is coming from. The conlusion? Paint.

The South African Paint Manufacturers’ Association agreed to limit the use of lead in paint in the 1970’s. However, with minimal enforcement, lead is still found in many paints in substantial quantities. In the meantime, draft regulations have been drawn up to declare leaded paint as a group-one hazardous substance.

As a result of the outcry, many paints are labelling themselves ‘lead-free’. However, lead is not the only toxin to worry about. Paints are a hazardous cocktail of chemicals and solvents, which affect us not only when we make physical contact, but in the emissions that last for weeks after paint has been applied.

But, as always, there’s a better way. Envirotouch are offering Pronature paints, which contain only natural elements, such as beeswax, plant oils and extracts, and are available in a large variety. Take a look at our Paints, Stone, Wood Products section for more information.

To order, go to

Enjoy the flowers!

The Co-op team.

Beating the living daylights out of wheat

The return of Continental Bakery’s gorgeous selection of breads has been met with great enthusiasm.  Don’t you get that warm feeling when you walk past a kitchen and the aroma of baking bread wafts out of the doors and windows?

The irony is that bread can cause havoc for many people.

Nature created the wheat kernel in perfect harmony.  We have the germ (the most nutrient rich part of the kernel containing essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals), the bran (the hard layer of skin which protects the kernel) and the endosperm (the carbohydrate rich part which supplies the fuel once kernel has sprouted).

Modern milling techniques beat the living goodness out of the wheat, stripping it of all it nutritional value and leaving behind only empty calories.  What we end up with is a “food” which satisfies the hunger, only to stimulate it again, as our bodies cry out for real food.

It is a common belief that the high levels of pesticides, additives and preservatives combined with this method of milling, is the reason why we observe such a high number of people who display wheat intolerance and sensitivity.

As I read elsewhere today, ‘the whiter your bread the quicker you’re dead.’

The attack on organic standards, especially in the US, continues, with the USDA approving a law mandating that almonds (including organic almonds) need to be pasteurised. They can continue to be labelled as ‘raw’, even though real raw almonds are far superior nutritionally to pasteurised almonds. One of the approved pasteurisation methods involves the use of propylene oxide, which is banned in the European Union as a carcinogen.

You’ll only find organic almonds on our list!

Good news though, again from the US, is that Monsanto’s Bovine Growth Hormone is seemingly on it’s last legs. With rBGH banned in many other countries, US consumers are informing themselves, and rebelling, putting pressure on dairies to stop its use. California Dairies, which produces 8% of the milk supply in the US, has banned the use of rBGH.

Hopefully South Africans can achieve the same soon!

Please remember to return your recyclables – we’d love to have the cardboard boxes and fruits and vegetable netting back for re-use, and we also pay 1 Talent (T1) for the litre bottles, and T0.5 for the honey jars, and small Camphill bottles. For our new customers, visit to learn all about Talents.

To order, head on over to

The Co-op team.

A food fit for swine

After two weeks of beating family colds on the head, it does feel like Spring is on its way.  The snivels are gone, and the fevers subsided.  I can only imagine how much worse my precious family would have felt had we not been eating our daily organic fruit and veggies!

One vegetable in particular came in handy over these past few weeks.  Considered suitable only for swine in the Victorian era, the lowly onion is a most under-estimated member of our natural medicinal plants.

Sliced and mixed with honey, it makes not only a delicious spread for toast , but a soothing tonic for sore throats.  And thinly sliced, dipped for about four-five seconds in hot (not boiling) water, sipped through the day, will offer relief for your standard winter “runny” nose.  According to Vogel, if an onion is cut in two and place on either side of the bed while sleeping, the vapour offers undeniable results for most cold and flu symptoms.  In addition, an onion rubbed into the scalp has been shown to improve hair condition and aid with dandruff.

My grandfather, who lived to the ripe old age of 90, swore to us that the reason for his outstanding teeth (not a filling in his time), was because he ate half a raw onion every day.

We’re happy to announce that our popular Continental Bakery breads, after a long hiatus, are available again. There are 12 different offerings – browse the Featured & New section to see what’s available.

To order (and we have more than just onions and bread), head on over to

The Co-op team.

A long weekend

With many of us taking a long weekend, it’s a short and sweet newsletter this week, just to announce that the site is open.

To order, head on over to

Organic food is better for you

It’s woman’s day, a public holiday, on Thursday. And to make the day doubly special – it’s co-op day. For those of you who’re not going to be at your usual place, please make sure that your collection or delivery option is correct. We wouldn’t like you to be welcomed to work on Friday, or even Monday, by a mouldy heap of unclaimed veggies!

If you’re still doubting your taste buds insistence that organic food is better for you (after all, your taste buds are there for a reason), another of those studies showing organic food is better for you has just been completed.

A 10-year study comparing organic and chemically-grown tomatoes has shown that the organic tomatoes have flavanoid levels that are twice as high. Flavanoids are the good guys, who’ve been well-studied for their role in preventing heart disease in particular . The flavanoid levels actually increased over time, which is likely to be due to the improvement in soil quality on organic farms over the course of the study.

A smaller study from the Netherlands showed that switching to organic dairy and meat improved the quality of mother’s breast milk.

For those who aren’t yet aware of it, there’s the Earthnotes environmental documentary film festival showing at the Labia right now, with a great range of films. You can download a schedule at

To order, head over to

Have a warm week,
the Co-op team