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eight at spier - fab food and big on the environment

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2010-02-11 13:18

Before the word gets out, I thought I’d share my addiction to the latest restaurant to open on the Spier Wine Estate in Lyndedoch Road, Stellenbosch. Eight at Spier serves good wholesome breakfasts, brunches and lunches on the grounds of the popular weekend destination.

The restaurant is child-friendly, affordable, and one of very few restaurants with a green ethos where environmental consciousness and commitment to the Earth is a high priority. Most of all, the restaurant lacks pretentiousness, and easily ranks as one of the best places to get a decent, healthy breakfast over a weekend …

nothings beats wild oats for breakfast

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-01-27 12:52

As far as food markets go, the Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield on the Garden Route probably comes up tops. Residents of Sedgefield and visitors to the town head out in their droves on a Saturday morning to the edge of town right next to the Swartvlei lake-lagoon, where the market has a permanent home under the trees.

The market's full name is the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market and it has won numerous awards during its ten year life span. Whilst I'd heard only good things about the farmers' market, I hadn't yet had the opportunity to visit it, but our road trip up to Hogsback had been conveniently carved into a number of stopovers that included Sedgefield, and the market was one of the first to make its way onto the itinerary.

gm corn research shows liver, kidney toxicity

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-01-19 11:26

A new GM study by the University of Caen in France shows a negative impact on the function of kidneys and liver in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.

From the study:
"We investigated three different GM corn namely NK 603, MON 810 and MON 863, which were fed to rats for 90 days. The raw data have been obtained by European governments and made publically available for scrutiny and counter-evaluation.

“These studies constitute a model to investigate possible subchronic toxicological effects of these GM cereals in mammals and humans. These are the longest in vivo tests performed with mammals consuming these GMOs. The animals were monitored for numerous blood and organ parameters.

top 10 news stories for 2009

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-12-29 13:46

2010 is virtually upon us, but before we allow the new year to sweep us back into the swing of things, it's a good moment to reflect on the past year and what news stories were most popular with our readers.

1. is Woolworths just another bad egg?
So there you are; surrounded by posters of poultry basking in their freedom, your conscience and shopping experience clean because you are promised that the eggs you are buying came from free-range chickens. If chickens could smile, I’m sure we would be confronted by an enormous picture of a splendid beaky grin.

2. you can recycle tetra pak!
I have to confess to sending various irate messages to Tetra Pak over the last year about their apparent lack of recycling facilities in Cape Town, or the country for that matter. The perception out there, despite their very obvious drive to recycle overseas, is that one can't recycle tetra pak, and there are a fair amount of them if you consider things like fruit juice, some olive oil, long-life milk and custard all come in these containers – they heap up over time!

spring CSA review

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-11-05 10:20

I've met a few organic farmers before and always enjoy finding out the fascinating stories behind where my food comes from. But for the last eight weeks I've been mostly dependent on one particular farmer for my vegetable sustenance. That farmer is Erick Zenzele and this is the story of how Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has made a difference to both of us.

The short version of the story is that I got to eat organic, fresh produce that was grown about 45 minutes drive from where I live, was good value for money and the supply chain was really short: farmer -> delivery man -> me. Good for freshness and a lower carbon footprint.

Erick benefitted by knowing that he has

visit the earth fair market in tokai

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2009-10-30 13:26

For those of you in search of something new that is not only set to be equally as good as the Biscuit Mill's Neighbourgoods Market, but also emphasises the local, artisan and sustainability aspect of food, head off to the Earth Fair market in Tokai.

Earth Fair is also an indoor market. It lies in the South Palms (for those of you to whom this means nothing, it's actually in the same area as Builders Warehouse in Main Road, although behind Bathroom Bizarre). There is plenty of parking, for a start, and there are activities for kids, which for many living in Tokai is something of a godsend on a Saturday morning.

no gm potato for sa!

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-10-22 14:19

Remember the field trials for and the campaign against the GM potato, or Spunta G2. Well the campaign was successful and the government has rejected the application to release them onto the market!

As Haidee Swanby from the African Centre for Biosafety said – that this rejection has happened in the pro-GM environment of South Africa is testament to the power of citizens becoming involved in the government decision making process.

Thank you to those of you who took the time to sign!

The Agricultural Research Council has appealed the decision and ACB will keep us up to date on the appeal process. Read an article in Businessday about it, and read ACB's press release.


world egg day under the spotlight - sign a petition

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-10-08 10:39

Demo at UCT campus on Friday 9 OctDemo at UCT campus on Friday 9 OctIt was only a few hours after we posted this story yesterday that Woolworths sent out the following sms – I'm sure you received it too:

    ”Celebrate World Egg Day with eggstra-special savings on Woolworths large free range eggs. Buy 12, get 6 free until 25 Oct.”

This morning we received a further press release from Compassion in World Farming SA (read on to sign their petitions), to let us know they are staging a demonstration this Friday, World Egg Day, at Jameson Plaza, UCT Main Campus between 12.30 -1.30pm.

“Women dressed in egg-yolk yellow swimsuits will spend their lunch hour inside cages, holding egg shaped placards, calling for an end to battery eggs in SA.

50% of eggs in the UK are currently free range, and in 2012 EU legislation will ban battery cages for egg laying hens, meanwhile....only 3% of eggs in South Africa are free range.  Why is this? 

no egg on face for pick n pay

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2009-10-07 13:44

Eggs have played a fairly controversial role lately. So it was with more than a little dismay that I read Compassion in World Farming's press release on Monday. It seemed that Pick n Pay were about to celebrate World Egg Day (I didn't know there was such a day, but nonetheless it is celebrated on the second Friday in October) by making a 60 000 egg omelette – using battery eggs.

But it appears that Pick n Pay has bowed to consumer pressure and Jonathan Ackerman has agreed to make the omelette using free range eggs. Victory to the hens, and kudos to Pick and Pay who obviously realise the power of their shoppers to make life more than a little uncomfortable for them...

eating & shopping organic in cape town

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-10-05 20:28

This is an updated version of our 2007 green guide.

If you’re one of many in Cape Town who recognise the value of buying organic and thus supporting sustainable, environment friendly farming then this is the guide for you.

In the UK stats released in March 2009 show that despite GDP falling by 1.9%, unemployment increasing by 1.3% and retail sales dropping by 1.8%, sales of organic food has continued to increase by 1.7%. In other words, the organic market is alive and well, and resiliant. [soil association]

In Sweden, the sale of organic food reached a record high in 2008 and now accounts for 3.4% of total sales. [swedishwire]

And US sales of organic food and nonfood products grew 17.1% over 2007 sales, despite tough economic times. [environmentalleader]

There are no statistics available for SA on organic sales. Infact we don't even have a national body that regulates the industry...

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