“They eat what they can”

I sometimes hear people asking what’s so special about organic food. They claim people have been eating ‘ordinary’ food for years, so why this sudden ‘fad’. The sad answer is that for most of our history all we’ve eaten are healthy and organic food. It’s only recently that we’ve been perpetuating an experiment by spraying and tampering with our food supply. And the most vulnerable to the effects are children.

The research is coming out slowly, but the complexity of determining what small quantities of pesticides do over long periods of time, and in combination with other pesticides, means we really don’t know all the effects. All we can do is try and minimise our exposure.

I read a comment today by the president of the Dairy Processors of Argentina, Osvaldo Capellini. Most Argentinian dairy cattle are fed with genetically modified feeds, and many developed markets aren’t keen on having anything to do with the resultant milk. So of course the marketers eye turns to the developing countries. South Africa has almost no controls, and we import substantial quantities of dairy from Argentina. Responding to a concern that the GM feed has a negative effect on Argentinian exports, and referring specifically to South Africa and our proclivity as a nation to put any old junk down our throats, Capellini says “…it sounds bad like you say, they eat what they can, it’s a thing that worries some developed communities, that’s a fact.”

The phrase may be a little mangled, but the point is that we’re too passive, and will accept and eat ‘what we can’, unlike more active and aware nations. A sad state of affairs.

We’ve been particularly passive about dairy, with the prevalence of rBST, the GM growth hormone, in much of our milk. At the same time, milk allergies and reactions such as eczema are so common.

The good news for co-op customers is that we offer a great variety of dairy. There’s the smooth organic Ayrshire cheeses from Bronberg, as well as our ever-popular cow’s milk. Some people who don’t respond well to cow’s milk can tolerate goat’s milk. We offer uncertified goats dairy from Foxenburg (milk and cheese) and Zeekoegat (cheese and yoghurt). Some of the goats cheeses are quite unusual, and very tasty, so be brave!

It may seem odd to keep mentioning this, and I’m probably preaching to the converted as the guilty probably don’t read this far, but please make sure that you specify your full name as the reference when making a payment to us. Just today we got another large payment with no reference. If any payments haven’t been reflected on your statements (available when you log in) in four or so days, let us know in case the payment hasn’t been associated with you. You may not be able to order otherwise!

A reminder again that whatever you do, don’t throw out those valuable cardboard boxes! Please return them, as we try and reuse them as much as we can. And of course you can still return Camphill 1 litre glass bottles for T1, or small Camphill glass bottles for T0.50.

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za. If you want to comment on anything in this newsletter, or read up what we said last week, you can visit our blog, http://blog.ethical.org.za.

The co-op team.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Jan

    Just my 2 cents: If you keep digging a little deeper you may find that we aren't supposed to be eating any dairy at all.. I'm not saying you're not 100% correct, because you are... on the level of current society. A lot of people are eating dairy and it's great to educate them about the very bad and very scary facts of GM dairy first, while also starting to discuss the possible reality that no mammals need dairy after infancy. And about how the calcium in dairy is an inferior, processed product instead of the real thing we should be looking at the plant world for! I know dairy is a big part of your industry, but let's start ethically discussing the truths about dairy (organic and otherwise) on ground level. It all fell apart for me when I saw a few cows next to the N2 outside Swellendam with such unnaturally uncomfortably swollen udders.