A humble sprig of parsley

One of those humble foods I’ve rediscovered since moving to organics has been parsley. As a child, I remember parsley being the limp green thing put on top of the toasted cheeses I used to eat by the dozen. Probably passed down from customer to customer, on the rare occasion when I did eat them I soon saw why I didn’t normally.

Cultivated since the third century BC, it was once believed that that plucking a sprig and saying a persons name would lead to their death. While, thankfully, this is not the case (although I can’t say I’ve tried), it does a have a few, more benevolent uses.

Fresh, organic parsley is something entirely different to the limp hand-me-downs of my childhood. It’s a great breath freshener at the end of a meal, and is high in vitamins A and C, and contains good amounts of iron, iodine, and copper.

Some of the oils in parsey are being investigated for their role in tumour prevention, and show articular promise in lung tumours. The oils seem to neutralise the carcinogenic benzopyrenes from cigarette or braai smoke, and on top of all that, were once worn around the neck as a form of deodorant, the same smoke and fume-absorbing quality probably being the cause.

The co-op is offering parsley from both Bloublommetjies, the biodynamic farm, and Abalimi, who support local township and urban gardens.

Those of you lucky enough to have seen the documentary on Cuba this week will have been interested to see that 80% of Cuban farms are organic, and that a large proportion of the food supply for the capital Havana (a city of similar size to Cape Town) is supplied by urban farms and gardens from within its municipal border.

It’s fantastic to see that, in the food production sphere at least, there are thriving examples of the way things should be.

To order, go to www.ethical.org.za.

Wishing you a warm weekend,
The Co-op team

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