Fierce Light, bright yellow and a little bit of black

Fierce Light

Winter is film season in Cape Town, and there are some excellent films at the Encounters Documentary Film Festival. Last night I watched one – “Fierce Light: where spirit meets action”, which looks at how love, spirituality and positive forces inspire change. As the director says, “Old paradigm activism is lacking without spirituality, and transcendent spirituality, without grounding in the real world, is also lacking.”

The While You Were Sleeping film collective are also back with another offering, “Beyond Elections”, which offers hope and inspiration to everyone frustrated with “politics as usual”. See it at the Labia from the 19th to the 21st.


After a long hiatus, we have fresh turmeric (also spelled tumeric) available again. To make the powder we’re usually more familiar with, the rhizomes (like ginger, a relative, the part of the turmeric that we eat is a rhizome not a root) are boiled for several hours and then ground down into the yellow powder. If you’ve ever suspected dried turmeric contains some funny colourant to give it that dayglo yellow, you only have to handle the real thing to see that’s not the case. Expect lurid yellow fingers unless you scrub well afterwards. Turmeric is frequently used as a colouring for foods as diverse as mustard and pickles, and even cheese.

There’s been much research into the health benefits of turmeric, most centred around its main constituent phytochemical, curcumin. It shows a strong inhibiting effect against many forms of cancer, as well as alzheimers and it reduces inflammation. One of the likely mechanisms for reducing the incidence of alzheimers is that it has a strong chelating effect, which means it binds to unwanted visitors in the body, such as heavy metals, allowing them to be easily passed out of the body. Many of us in urban environments have high levels of heavy metals, and there’s an association between alzheimers and higher levels of metals in the brain.

The absorption of curcumin is greatly improved when taken together with black pepper, as it almost always is in traditional Indian cooking.

We have both the fresh variety from the Organic Farmers Co-op, certified organic by BCS, as well as the dry variety, listed under Dried Herbs and Seasonings, from Good Life, certified by the Control Union, available on the site. Remember you click on any of our items listed on the order form for more details.

Local bees in trouble

I wrote recently of the outbreak of foulbrood disease affecting bees in South Africa. It seems to be spreading, and 85% of the samples recently tested were found to contain traces of the spores. Only a small number of the total tests have been returned to date, and beekeepers are waiting anxiously to see how far it’s spread. Foulbrood disease has no effect on the honey, but a devastating effect on the bees, the livelihood of honey producers, and, since most fruit orchards rely on bee pollination, the fruit industry as well.

Fortunately we still have an ample supply of honey, including more rare certified organic honey from Fizantakraal, as well as from Honeywood, Bloublommetjies (honey and honey comb), Docke and Cedarfruits.

To order, head on over to

Have a fantastic week,
the Ethical Co-op team

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