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two oceans aquarium nets top environmental rating

Submitted by incoming on Mon, 2011-10-17 10:45

Spot the wind turbine at the aquarium entranceSpot the wind turbine at the aquarium entrance

The Two Oceans Aquarium was recently awarded Platinum status by the Heritage Environmental Management Company in recognition of its efforts towards sustainability and reducing the impact of its operations on the environment.

The Aquarium’s Managing Director, Dr Patrick Garratt, said, “We are thrilled with this achievement especially in light of the fact that we will be hosting approximately 500 of the world’s top aquarium personnel for the 8th International Aquarium Congress in September 2012. One of the themes suggested by our international peers is sustainability. Our Platinum status not only provides us with credibility but also to showcase the Two Oceans Aquarium as a leader within the field of sustainability in aquariums”.

harvest of hope calendar for 2012

Submitted by incoming on Wed, 2011-10-12 10:42

pic: a child's work of art as featured in the calendarpic: a child's work of art as featured in the calendar

Harvest of Hope (HoH) is currently producing a calendar for our annual art competition. Children from several schools have painted pictures for Abalimi and we have selected 12 winners to be presented in our calendar. The calendars will be spiral bound and produced to a high standard and would be a perfect gift for any loved one for Christmas.

Being an NGO we work to a tight budget and therefore would like to receive orders from our loyal supporters before we print the calendars.
The picture above is one of the twelve included in the calendar all with a gardening/vegetable theme.

If you would like to support Abalimi please purchase one of our beautiful calendars for R 100 by making a deposit into our bank account.

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raw food: hippie fad or a valid dietary option?

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Tue, 2011-09-27 12:42

Shining the light on chinese raw food
Filled Fungus and Tempeh SaladFilled Fungus and Tempeh SaladWhen we received the phone call tip-off to attend the EarthShine Chinese-theme raw food evening, Grant (my boyfriend / photographer) and I shared puzzled looks.

"Doesn’t Chinese food use a lot of rice?" asked the only vegan coloured boy in Cape Town.
"… and noodles?" I added. We were curious as to what the evening might bring.

After negotiating a car, we made our way to the Afrikaans Development centre in Pinelands and upon entering, we were greeted by piano music and handed a taster. I take a small bite on my chrysanthemum leaf (tasting somewhat like garlicky cabbage) and marvel at the professionalism of the set-up - I was half expecting some smelly hippies in a cob house.

Tables display health foods in the lobby and clients that are interested mark paper bags to purchase after that evening’s event. Well-dressed attendees mill around nibbling leaves and murmuring pleasantries, while the grand piano plays on. At last we are called inside the auditorium, where chairs have been set up around a table displaying electronic paraphernalia: blenders, mixers, juicers and something called a "dehydrator".

"I used to think it was just a typical hippy fad," says Natalie, one half of EarthShine, as the evening gets underway. "But when I actually ate some raw food I was like ‘wow!’ and had to swallow my words.

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fresh earth food store - one place you gotta eat

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2011-08-04 09:25

I'm sitting at a wooden table in an alcove amidst the buzz of the café that lies to one side of the food store cum health shop that is the Fresh Earth Food Store, exclaiming over my breakfast. I can count on one hand the number of eateries* where I can hope to find something on the menu, like my choice of French Toast on wheat-free bread, with 'real' free-range eggs and real maple syrup (the Canadian kind not cheap, flavoured syrup).

This particular dish also comes with huge slices of haloumi cheese. You have no idea how good it was. Heart-warming stuff. Add to that the African-brewed organic and Fair Trade decaf coffee (Bean There Coffee) that I'm enjoying with, I have no doubt, 'real' milk (not the kind full of hormones and other stuff, because the cows are fed so badly) with a choice of rice or soy milk if you do not do dairy, or are vegan.

fairtrade sales in sa reached R18,4 million in 2010

Submitted by incoming on Tue, 2011-05-31 17:14

Fairtrade Label South Africa (FLSA) is glad to announce that Fairtrade is growing from strength to strength with sales in 2010 reaching ZAR 18,4 million, a steep increase from the ZAR 5,7 million estimated in 2009. This shows that awareness and demand for Fairtrade products in South Africa are on the rise. The bulk of the sales are mainly accounted for by local Fairtrade wine and African Fairtrade coffee, which are currently the key Fairtrade products available on the local market.

"This is a great achievement for Fairtrade in South Africa," says Mr Boudewijn Goossens, executive director of FLSA. "Soon local consumers will

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eat for the earth this world environment day

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2011-05-30 11:34

Host a lunch, save the world - this world environment day 5 june 2011.

World Environment Day falls on a Sunday this year, so why not couple it with the great Sunday lunch tradition to benefit the environment? Sheer genius really!

How does it work? You host a lunch in your home, inviting your friends to join and ask them to donate anything from R25 - R200 to food garden NGO, Soil for Life. You cook and your friends donate online and you all stand a chance to win great prizes.

All money raised at Eat for the Earth lunches throughout South Africa will go to

graze - slow food in the overberg town of stanford

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-05-17 14:05

Stanford already has its requisite village market on the green, held on the last Friday evening of the month. During summer, I believe, it's a great place to be. The town is no newcomer to good, local food either and both Marianas and Madré's Kitchen are well supported by locals and Capetonians, who if the influx of 4x4s is anything to go by, make no bones about using Stanford as their regular weekend and holiday base.

It's a beautiful town, is Stanford. It's got everything you could possibly hope for in an Overberg village – gorgeous historical and restored buildings that the local heritage committee have not only individually numbered, but have also included in an Historical Stanford on foot, which you can pick up at the local tourism info (just across the road from the Stanford Trading Store).

mad about makana mead

Submitted by sproutscout on Mon, 2011-05-16 09:09

The welcome sign at iQhilika MeaderyThe welcome sign at iQhilika Meadery

In an old abandoned power station on the outskirts of Grahamstown, a wacky scientist has something brewing in his lab. With a touch of technology used to modify an age-old recipe, the concoction is set to solve problems of sustainability, biodiversity, unemployment, and help us have a good time while we do so. It is something quite undeniably magical that comes in the form of a bottle of honey mead.

The iQhilika Meadery (named for the isiXhosa mead) in Grahamstown was started ten years ago as a part of Dr Garth Cambray’s PhD research project, and now produces about 15 000 bottles of mead a year. I spoke to Cambray about mead, constructive economics and the innovative systems at iQhilika…

Mead production in decline
Mead is an age-old recipe of fermenting honey to make wine. With the declining bee populations in Europe, mead production in

wake up and smell the coffee

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2011-05-12 10:02

Find out more about Fairtrade, Fair Trade, Fairtrade Coffee Week, World Fair Trade Day and what you can do to help!

Nothing beats that first sip of coffee in the morning, and most of the Western world rely on caffeine's psychoactive effects to kickstart their day, but spare a thought for how the world's second largest commodity (after oil) got from where it was produced to your lips.

In Black Gold, being screened at the Labia as part of Fairtrade Coffee Week, Tadesse Meskela is a man on a mission to save 74 000 Ethiopian farmers from bankruptcy. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, but as Tadesse travels the world, will he find a buyer willing to purchase coffee beans of the highest quality at a fair price?

The movie exposes the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world's coffee trade. Unsurprisingly the world's largest sellers of coffee to consumers - Starbucks, Proctor & Gamble, Nestle, Kraft and Sara Lee declined to be interviewed for the film. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation also come under scrutiny.

With so many middle-men, the coffee farmers, left to the devices of a skewed "free market" system, will never receive a decent price for their efforts. So what is an ethically minded coffee addict to do?

Support the Fair Trade movement
This is where the Fair Trade movement steps in so that

cautious welcome for mandatory labelling of GM foods

Submitted by incoming on Wed, 2011-04-20 13:12

Via email from the African Centre for Biosafety and SAFEAGE

On the 1st April 2011, final regulations were published in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, on the labeling of GM foods. These regulations will come into effect on the 1 October 2011.

Its been a long and anxious wait to see what the final regulations governing the labelling of Genetically Modified GM Foods would entail. We are not ecstatic about the regulations, its more of a cautious welcome, please see our press release at

We originally asked for the regulations to:

  1. Extend to all approved GMOs and food derived from such GMOs;
  2. Set the threshold at 1% for technically unavoidable presence and thus GM content above 1% and not 5% should be labeled;
  3. Exclude loopholes for companies to avoid testing and correct labeling.

What we ended up with, is the possibility of up to 5 different labels on GM foods:

  1. Where the GM content is at least 5%, the food will be labeled as 'containing GMOs'. Cereals containing maize and soy could fall into this category as well as many supermarket breads that usually contain some soy.

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