Juice, beets and trucks


I’ve eaten healthily (at least I like to think so) for quite a while now, but have always been less than keen on the greens. That’s all changed with the arrival of Oscar in my life.

Oscar is a juicer, and it coincidentally arrived a few days after doing the Elements of Health course, facilitated by Soaring Free Superfoods, where scrumptious juices were a big part of the menu, and the benefits of juicing were highly touted.

Juicing is a great way to get live enzymes, as well as minerals, trace elements and vitamins, into the body. I was never a great juice drinker, preferring to eat the whole plant, including the fibre. But juices are extremely healing, especially for those of us who’ve eaten a diet high in processing and low in nutrition in the past. Juices are extremely easy to digest, usually being assimilated within fifteen minutes of consumption. The fibre is harder to digest, and many of the nutrients are not as well absorbed if they’re still part of the fibre when consumed.

Juicing is also great for the bones. Most processed and popular food is highly acidic when it metabolises in the body, and the body compensates for this excess acidity by getting hold of the best alkaline source it can find – calcium from the bones and teeth.

Contrary to common belief, taking loads of calcium won’t help counteract this. It’s best to reduce the proportion of acidifying foods in the first place. The calcium needs to be absorbed, and magnesium and vitamin D are particularly important here. Other things may reduce absorption, such as smoking and calcium. Excess and poorly absorbed calcium can all too easily end up causing calcification, or hardening of the arteries, instead.

Vegetable and fruit juices are highly alkalising, and not only does the body not need to compensate by leaching the bones, they contain a variety of essential nutrients and minerals for preventing osteoporosis.

Speaking from my own experience, I’ve felt significantly more energy since starting to juice! As my 5-year old son says, “I love Oscar”!

If you don’t have a juicer, you’re out of luck through, as our popular Elgin apple juices are now unavailable until next year’s harvest.


Beetroot is one of my favourite plants to juice. It’s quite high in sugar, and so shouldn’t be overdone, but is great for sweetening vegetables (especially green vegetable) juices.

Beetroot is particularly supportive of heart health, and drinking the juice has an almost instant effect on high blood pressure. There’s reams of evidence that it’s highly effective in preventing cancer, as well as being an effective boost to the immune system. In fact, it started off being used as a medicinal plant by the Greeks and the Romans. Many of the murals of Romans drinking “red wine” are now thought to represent beetroot juice instead. Not everyone agreed with the health claims though. Pliny, the noted Roman naturalist, said beets were “more harmful than cabbage”. Scary.

It’s also, like most healthy foods, considered an aphrodisiac, and is high in boron, which helps produce human sex hormones. The saying “take favours in the beetroot fields”, a euphemism for visiting prostitutes, was apparently popularised by British Field Marshal Montgomery as he exhorted his troops to do so in an attempt to increase morale.


After a long break, the Camphill cheeses are in stock again. Their tasty sweet milk cheddar cheeses include plain, cumin and madagascar pepper varieties.


Our relatively new truck was involved in an accident yesterday. Everyone is fine, apart from some slightly squashed strawberries, but the truck will be out of action for a while. Thank you to everyone who got into their cars and bakkies to make this week’s round happen. Since we’re probably quite far down the line for a government bailout, and Sani Obacha’s nephew still hasn’t deposited the promised millions into our account, we hope that you’ll bear with us as we make alternative plans, and that if your veggies are late and you’re feeling down, you won’t have to resort to cavorting in the beetroot fields.

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

Have a great week,
the Co-op team