Monthly archives "January 2013"

Silent Autumn

Our empty warehouse looks a lot plumper this week, as quite a few of our delayed orders arrived. All sorts of old staples are back in stock again, such as basmati rice and jasmine rice, so enjoy browsing the expanded order form.

We also have a more steady supply of butter from Camphill in Hemel en Aarde.

Pesticides
If you’re buying organic food, you’re probably well aware of the effects of pesticides, particularly when concentrated. Farmworkers and their families have been exposed to all sorts of dangers, and suffered serious health consequences.

Recently, a family of pesticides has been fingered in the epidemic killing honeybees in the US and Europe, while the pesticide manufacturer still assures us that their testing has shown no danger.

This week, new research has shown the lethal effects of common pesticides, at the regular, recommended dosages, on frogs and amphibians. One third of all known amphibians are endangered, and their numbers are declining precipitously. The cause hasn’t been known. Now, a relatively simple set of tests, exposing frogs to regular dosages of pesticides, has had dramatic results.

Some frogs died within an hour of exposure. The most harmful appeared to be pyraclostrobin. Another, dimethoate, when applied at only 10% of the standard dosage, killed 40% of the amphibians within a week.

It’s fifty years since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring brought the effects of pesticides to global consciousness. We learn slowly, still applying barely tested pesticides in high dosages to our crops, still unthinkingly buying them, even now inserting them into the very DNA of our plants.

We’re oversleeping and it’s time to wake up!

Have a healthy week,
Ian and the Ethical team

Go to www.ethical.org.za to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Unwanted fishing records

Catching a whopper
A record was broken for a fish catch this week in Japan. Nothing to do with size though. As the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima continues to release radiation into the ocean, a fish a whopping 2500 times over the legal radiation safety level was caught this week.

While Japan debates whether to move away from nuclear, Fukushima, the area devastated by the disaster, has made up its mind. They’re building the world’s largest wind farm.

Germany has also made the decision to move away from nuclear and has hugely expanded its wind generation capacity. It’s struggling though with transmission issues, as the windy northern coastal areas are far removed from the southern industrial areas that use most of the power, and it hasn’t yet equipped the grid to deal with surges on windy days.

Fukushima suffers no such problems, already being close to existing power infrastructure.

South Africa is also slowly expanding it’s renewable energy offerings, but is still forging ahead with destructive new coal power plants. Sadly our dabbling in renewable energy seems nothing more than lip-service at the moment, and it’s still business as usual.

Organic grapes
The grapes last week came in boxes labelled as “containing sulphur dioxide”. Regular grapes are one of the more heavily sprayed crops, so this was alarming, but we’ve been assured by Naturally Organic that these are the same certified organic grapes that are exported, but the farm simply provided them in regular packaging. Thanks to everyone who pointed this out to us.

Snapping up sesame snaps
We have lots of specials again this week, including sesame snaps. The certified organic sesame snaps are popular, but we ended up with an extra carton of them, so a pack of four is going for R31 instead of the usual R44 until Tuesday only.

Head on over to www.ethical.org.za to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter

Remember you can adjust your order anytime up until the time 2pm cutoff time, so even if you’ve already placed an order there’s still time to avoid the queues in the shops.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

Trust

If you were lucky enough to take a holiday, or even better, are still on holiday, I hope you’re feeling rejuvenated and excited for the new year.

Trust
We live in a society where it’s expected to lie. We expect adverts to mislead in order to sell products, we expect political leaders to twist the truth to suit a particular agenda, we expect that people we meet in the street asking for money are making up a story, we expect that studies distort their findings in order to suit the viewpoint of their funders.

Most religions have precepts against lying, but it turns out, in a world of lies, the most harmful are those that we ourselves tell. Numerous studies into lying have found that even those supposed “white lies”, answers to questions such as “How do I look in this dress”, or “How did you like my cake?” are harmful.

We believe that small lies are acceptable, are expected, but besides the damage to society, groups that lied less showed significantly fewer harmful mental and physical health effects too. Lying is bad for our health.

If we know we can’t even trust ourselves to tell the truth, how can we possibly trust others? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to trust our families, our colleagues, public figures, strangers we meet? The way to start is with ourselves.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

Go to www.ethical.org.za to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.