ORAC organics

ORAC Scale

Those of you who’ve bought the Soaring Free Superfoods raw cacao and goji berries, and read the labels (most of you I’m sure!), will have seen the ORAC scale printed on the back. The ORAC scale is a way to measure antioxidant capacity. It stands for “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity”, and, put very simply, a high value is a good thing. Now, if you’ve seen the graphs on the cacao and goji, you’ll have seen how phenomonally high those foods are. Healthy foods such as beet greens (yes, you can eat beetroot greens) come in at 1946, guava at 1990, broccoli at 3083, blackberries at 5347. Goji berries blow them away, coming in at 25300, and raw cacao an unbelievable 95500.

But there are foods that are even higher.

Cloves top the list at 314446. Ground cinammon comes in at 267536, and ground turmeric 159277. Of course, you’re unlikely to eat quite as many cloves as you would cacoa, but these foods are have been a key component in Ayurvedic nutrition for good reason.

Remember also that there’s chocolate and there’s chocolate. Don’t think that buying a chocolate bar in the supermarket is the same thing as raw cacao! Processing the cacoa powder halves its ORAC rating, adding milk and sugar into a “dark” chocolate halves it again, and what passes for non-dark chocolate again has at best half as much. By the time you get to milk chocolate, there’s not much left!

Climate change

While the politicians fiddle around with climate change, proposing solutions such as cap and trade and carbon taxes, there are even quicker ways to get carbon out of the atmosphere. By putting it back into plants. If we converted all of our chemical farms, the monoculture deserts that pass for farmland in so much of the world today, to organic agriculture, 40% of our current carbon emissions could be sequestered. While transport and electricity generation all have important roles to play, simply farming intelligently and sustainably will have the biggest single impact.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who completed the recent survey, or who gave interviews to the Graduate School of Business students who have been helping us. They reported back yesterday, and the information has been really helpful. Top among the concerns was quality, and we’ll be doing everything we can to improve this. Please remember to report any sub-standard produce to us as soon as possible. Not only will you get a refund, you may be pointing out problems we’re not aware of, and helping to improve the quality for everyone.

Collection Points

As always there are more collection point changes this week. Pentz Drive will be temporarily closed this week, while the Noordhoek collection point has closed. The nearest alternative is Harry Goemans in Sunnydale. A reminder that you can change your default collection point (as well as any other details) by clicking “Change Details”.

To order your antioxidants and other goodies, head on over to www.ethical.org.za.

Have a great week, the Ethical Co-op team