Maize, onions, and a trip to the Himalayas

Thanks for all the queries about the missing newsletters. It’s been gratifying to hear that many of you appreciate them.

I have been feeling quite burnt out recently, so haven’t been feeling inspired to write too many 3am missives. The common cure for burnout is to go and sit in the Himalayas, so that’s just what I’ll be doing, come April. But I hope to get a few more newsletters in before then.

Toxic Baby

In this week’s video from TEDWomen, filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer became curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant, and in particular atrazine, a commonly used herbicide used on maize. View it here.


We’re offering three varieties of maize this week. Yellow sweetcorn, white maize – hard and starchy, and my personal favourite, and white sweetcorn, falling somewhere between the two in sweetness and softness. Yellow sweetcorn, albeit most likely a genetically-modified atrazine laden variety, is the only one commonly found in the supermarkets, being the most popular for those with a sweeter tooth.


Onion season is in full swing right now, and if you can’t tell your Rossa lunga di Firenze from your De Genoa, help is at hand. Regular brown onions have the highest eye-watering sulphur content and generally keep their distinctive flavour when cooked. Red onions are better for raw dishes, as they’re milder and sweeter and your host won’t be offended by your tears while you tuck in.

If brown and red are a little mahogany for you, we also have small pickling onions, and Drift farm have supplied us with three unusual varieties. The Rossa lunga di Firenze has a big shallot, long bulbs, is also great raw, and won the RHS award for the sweetest onion in 2008. The round, red-skinned De Genoa has a tender, consistent red/white flesh, and is ideal both for eating raw and making onion pastes. Finally, the medium-sized Ramata de Milano has round golden bulbs with white flesh, and stores well.

While our dry produce is normally relatively easy to manage (bar the occasional exploding chia seeds), fresh produce can be more challenging. Those of you that ordered potatoes last week would have been notified about them in advance, while our recent batches of peaches, Jekyl in the warehouse, have turned into Hyde by the time they got to their destination.

Remember, if your peaches are peach jam when you get them, or if anything else goes wrong, we will happily refund you.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

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    [...] Baboons of Citrusdal The baboons must have read my previous newsletter, as they enjoyed a field day amongst the maize and sweetcorn, ensuring there wasn’t much left [...]