Monthly archives "April 2013"

Water bottles with taps

We have a new batch of water bottles to use for the Newlands Spring delivery service, and these come with an optional tap. The taps are only available with a new bottle. The water bottles we use to carry the precious spring water are all type 2 plastic, which are the best plastic to use for water, with none of the risks associated with most plastic water bottles.

When you buy a bottle it is new and has never been used by anyone else. When you return it for refill, it still belongs to you and is used by you exclusively, and you are responsible for keeping it clean.

We’ve noticed some older returned bottles with mould on them. Mould in water can have risks, so you don’t want to drink water from a bottle with any green inside. The best suggestion is to prevent the bottles going green at all by keeping them away from sunlight at all times. Once the water is used, empty the bottle carefully and leave it with the top off so that it can thoroughly dry. If the bottle does go green, I can’t recommend any solutions personally, but I have heard that vinegar (5% dilution) works. Others have suggested bleach, but I don’t think you want this anywhere near your drinking water! If you know of a safe and effective cleaning method, please let us know in the comments below.

If you want us to refill weekly for you, we need to have your returned bottles in our warehouse by Tuesday afternoon. The logistics of this is specific to how you order, so please ask us for details, but generally you will need two to three weeks supply of bottles.

We also love to re-use the cardboard boxes, 1 litre and 500ml glass bottles and egg boxes, so please return these too if you can.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

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

Explosive farming

Last week in Texas, USA, a fertilizer factory blew up, with devastating consequences for the surrounding area and people. The reason for the explosion was poor handling of the ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in both commercial fertilizer for conventional farming, and bombmaking.

The tragedy again reminded me how conventional farming is a system at war with our planet, a system based on greed and exploitation with no regard for future generations.

Compare that to a visit to an organic farm, where the food is healthy and the farm bursting with life and vitality!

Rice
It’s been a while, but at long last we have our own brand of rice back in stock. We have lots of everybody’s favourite fragrant basmati, both white and brown, as well as long-grain brown rice at a very nice price.

More colourfully, we also have wild rice, with its long, thin grains, and brightly coloured red rice available too.

African Agave
Fans of Rawlicious’ agave sweetener may have noticed the change in colour last year. While both the original dark and the new light varieties are raw, the lighter agave has undergone even less processing and has a more neutral, honey-like flavour.

It’s also produced in Tanzania in a very similar way to the old Aztec method, gathering raw sap as it seeps from the plant, rather than processing the pressed core. It’s more labour-intensive, but retains much more of the nutrients. There are many ways of producing agave, most of them resulting in something far-removed from the original. Regular, highly-processed or chemically-produced agave is probably as harmful as high-fructose corn syrup (the diabetes-inducing sweetener added to most soft drinks), so rather stick to organic and minimally-processed.

Have a vitality-filled week,
Ian and the Ethical team

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

Fats that Heal

One of my favourite nutrition books is Udo Erasmus‘ ‘Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill’. It’s an entire, fat, book on fats and oils.

For cooking, it’s quite simple. Most oils become harmful when heated, so you need to choose an oil with a high smoke point. Coconut oil is one of the best for this purpose, as it only breaks down at high temperatures. Most other oils aren’t great for cooking. Even extra-virgin olive oil, which is commonly-used, has a relatively low smoke point and shouldn’t be used for cooking unless at very low temperatures.

But oils show their true benefits when fresh and raw. There are two essential nutrients in fats, omega-3’s and omega-6’s. Omega-3’s break down very easily in heat and light, so most people eating a high processed diet are very low in them. Flax is then one of the best oils, as it’s extremely high in omega-3’s. Flax is used in all sorts of therapeutic ways, but it shouldn’t be used over long periods, as its extreme omega-3’s, while good for restoring an imbalance, are not what the human body needs over the long term.

The oil produced by flax’s sister, hemp, has a mix closer to human needs, and is one of the only oils that can be used over a long period without causing an imbalance. Crede’s omega-3-6-9 oil is also a blend of oils aiming at an ideal human balance. If you want to make your own, flax mixed with a small amount of sunflower and sesame make a good combination.

Hemp and flax in particular should be used relatively quickly once exposed to air and light, and are best stored in the fridge.

Sadly, we’ve been given advance warning that the next batch of flax oil will be markedly more expensive, so we’ve filled our fridge with the current batch in case people want to stock up before the increase.

If fats fascinate you as much as me, this week’s video features Udo Erasmus speaking about them.

New and Old
This week there are three varieties of apples available, as well as green beans. It’s also going to be the last week for plums and quinces from Tierhoek, so order while you can. Tierhoek will be back again with apricots in November.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

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

Udo Erasmus on essential fats and oils

Udo Erasmus, acclaimed expert on fats and oils, and author of “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill”, discusses all things fat in this week’s video. The interviewer comes from a vegetarian and vegan perspective, but the information is as useful to everyone.

The video is ten parts long. Part one is embedded here, as well as part five, which discusses omega-3’s and omega-6 ratios, but if you find fats as fascinating as I do, the links to the followups are in each video.

Part 1 of 10:

Part 5 of 10: Omega-3 and omega-6

My sweet satsuma

With the changing of the seasons, new produce is starting to appear in the fields and on the trees. I once did a ten-day detox eating almost nothing but satsumas, and on the eleventh day was still wolfing them down, so I’m very pleased to see them back. There’s also fresh tumeric, radishes, avocado, sweet potatoes, mange tout and watercress rounding out the recent fresh arrivals.

Concentrate
Goldberry’s Wendy Crawford and Andrew Maclachlan are both seasoned farmers with years of experience in organic and biodynamic farming. They’ve been assisting the landowners of a fruit farm in the Klein Karoo to move to organic, and have produced a batch of fruit concentrates made only from spring water steamed slowly through the organic fruit. There are peach, pear, hanepoort grape and two varieties of plum available to try.

Restoring Grasslands
In this week’s video, Allan Savory discusses how to reverse desertification in grasslands. He once promoted culling, but now realised what a tragic mistake this was, and his more recent methods are quite different. View it at

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

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.

How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

Allan Savory once promoted culling elephants to preserve rapidly degrading grasslands. He’s realised what a tragic mistake this was, and is now devoted to restoring grasslands in a manner that actually works, and in this video presents his more recent findings.