Goji berries, firelighters and toothpaste

Apologies to those of you who missed out on your orders last week. When international bandwidth went down on Monday, many of you were unable to place your orders. All we can suggest is get your orders in earlier next time! We unfortunately have to host our servers internationally (they’re in Denmark) due to the exhorbitant prices of our monopolised telecoms environment.

This week we’re offering goji berries, sometimes known as wolfberries. Goji berries are cultivated in Asia, and are a wonderfully nutritious fruit, even in their dried form, which is all that is available to most people outside Asia. 100 grams contains 100% of the Dietary Reference Intake of iron and Vitamin B2, as well as containing high quantities of selenium, vitamin C (50 times more than oranges in their fresh form).

Their protein structure is great, as they contain 18 amino acids (including all 8 essential ones), and they’re exceptionally mineral-rich and high in antioxidants, especially carotenoids.

Goji berries can be eaten raw, cooked (and added to rice or soups, for example), or boiled as a herbal tea. It’s a week of interesting new items, and we’re also offering hand-made fire lighters, made from sawdust, wax and recycled egg cartons.

There’s also a new range of toothpastes, mouthwash and gum therapy gel, all fluoride-free, from Nature-Fresh. Find these, and much more, in the Featured & New section of the site. We welcome comments about any of our products, including criticism and alternative points of view, on our blog, http://blog.ethical.org.za

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za.

The co-op team

Comments ( 3 )

  1. admin

    A reader wrote in to comment on this: Dear Ethical Co-op, I have to respond to your email for something is bugging me about it. Please don't apologise for having an international server and giving the much heard excuse that this is cheaper then a local server/host. This is not true. There are decent local web hosts that cost less then any international web host. I find it disturbing that you give all responsibility of your business running properly away to either ordering earlier (what if the server goes down on Saturday one day) or the 'unavoidable fact' of the uncontrollable international server. Please stick to the fact and don't go all wishy washy on us. Many thanks, My response: Hi ... Thanks for your comments. I apologise if you found the comment wishy-washy, and that you were possibly unable to adjust your order on Monday. I'd like to place this discussion on our blog (http://blog.ethical.org.za), as others may also be interested or have similar concerns. You're also welcome to respond back there. I stand by the comments however. It's something I feel extremely strongly about, being very involved in the IT industry. I'd be very surprised to find out about any decent local hosts that are cheaper than international hosts. Many are simply resellers of overseas services, and those that actually host here are vastly more expensive than overseas. An example: Hetzner offer reliable local hosting services, a root server for R1095, cap the bandwidth at 5GB, and charge 9c per MB after that. The same company, hosting in Germany, offer UNLIMITED bandwidth for 49 Euro. The only reason for the discrepancy is the Telkom bandwidth rates. If we used 20GB as an example of our monthly usage (not an unreasonable estimate), we'd pay R2400 locally, and 49 Euro internationally. There really is no comparison! The co-op has been running with almost no initial funding, supported by its members, and it cannot afford to pay so much for hosting. I'm not sure what you mean by the server going down on Saturday. That can happen wherever the server is. The point is not the server going down, which would be disruptive wherever it's located, but Internet access to the server when it's up. We're an Internet business, so we rely on the infrastructure. If there's no Internet, we cannot operate. Unfortunately, a cost of hosting overseas is that Telkom's international infrastructure is less reliable than it is locally. However, as the monopoly comes to an end, and access opens to other providers, this can only improve, to the benefit of us and all the other small businesses struggling under the current circumstances. This is not an attempt to blame anyone, rather explain how things are, and make the only practical suggestion I can to pre-empt the problem - order earlier. We cannot fix the infrastructure, and we cannot afford to host locally. kind regards, ian gilfillan

  2. admin

    You may be interested in reading more on the bandwidth/local hosting discussion at swimgeek's blog

  3. Gerrard

    Yes. Telkom is problematic at best. However alternative options are coming forward. I have found that hosting in other countries is much cheaper but there is one major down fall. If visitors to your website from South Africa has ADSL, many times at the end of the month their data cap has been used up which means they can only view sites hosted in South Africa, If you site is hosted ouside of South Africa you loose a lot of traffic during this time. The problem with Telkom is to date there was no one to compare them to. You might actually realize later that their service is not that bad as we realized with BT’s service in London, when we stayed there for a while). New companies are Neotel and the value added service providers (or non fix line providers) like Vox Telecom which has recently released the ADSL phone ( view product on http://www.adslphone.co.za ) . Product like these can significantly reduce phone bills and actually earn people some income. The problems with non fixed line providers like Vox telecom are that you still required a fixed line from either Telkom or Neotel. But the rates are SIGNIFICALY cheaper and in many cases your phone bill can disappear completely with the FREE call service for both home and small businesses users. Then there is the added benefit of basic PABX functionality and free cordless phones. Most of the Value added providers uses VoIP (or voice over the Internet) to reduce costs with least cost routing options. I still think though that the ADSL data service from Telkom is good and would recommend it. Then simply add on your ADSL phone and you will have the best of both worlds.