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local news: sa to run out of surface water, first wildlife-friendly label, would you cycle 3000 km?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2009-09-30 14:01

SA to run out of surface water Scientists who have recently done an update on a study on water resource availability in SA now warn that estimates given previously are not the true picture and that there is even less water available than estimated - 4% less, to be precise. If you consider that 98% of our water is already accounted for, that SA has become 2% hotter and 6% drier since the 1970s, a struggle for water could ensue. [cape times] via [treehugger] Also read 25 things you might not know about Water and Green your water

Cape no 1 in recycling The Western Cape is leading the country in terms of recycling waste material. This is due to tight space constraints and very limited access to dumping sites close to Cape Town... []

SA's first wildlife-friendly eco label – Fair Game. Later this year we will be able to choose eco labelled meat and fibre products...

fair trade coffee hour: coffee.break.fair

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-09-24 10:43

South Africa is joining a worldwide German-led initiative to drink as many mugs of fair trade coffee as possible this Friday 25 September betw 10am and 11am.

The German event, entitled "Kaffee.Pause.Fair.”, coincides with the national "Coffee Day" of the German Association of Coffee and aims to "seize" the day for the Fair Trade movement. If you look at the number of events planned around Germany you will see that it is indeed being seized! The aim is for 100 000 cups of fair trade coffee to be drunk around the world in one hour.

Here in Cape Town local fair trade organisation, Fair Trade SA, is organising an event at Quensh organic eatery in Observatory for coffee aficionados and fair trade fans to gather, network, get more info on the fair trade movement, and of course drink coffee. They have around 30 people confirmed so far, and Quensh probably doesn't have space for many more, but you could always phone ahead to check or pop in anyway and enjoy your cuppa on the pavement. (from 10 to 11, Quensh Organic Deli, 42 Lower Main Road, Observatory - 021 447 0714)

African fair trade coffee is supplied by Bean There Fair Trade Coffee who have a roastery...

kwalapa - cape town's latest organic eatery

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-09-22 09:34

The first thing that grabs you about kwaLapa at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, is their catchy byline – telling the stories of food.

Its meaning is lost on me, until I begin scanning the shelves and stumble across some of the initial 'stories' about where the store sources its foods that the team behind the store have begun placing on the walls. Then I begin to understand that kwalapa isn't just a store. It's a community of people in the business of telling and selling the stories of food.

The organic wholefoods delicatessen and store has only recently opened its doors, but you can plainly see that it's a matter of time before word of mouth and the green grapevine has the place fairly buzzing for morning coffee and lunches, particularly since Organic Living in Plumstead closed its restaurant (it remains a popular health store up at Constantia Village) and the southern suburbs have been itching for a replacement...

a visit to waverley hills organic wines

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-09-07 11:58

Waverley Hills is on the R46 between Tulbagh and Ceres and lies virtually at the foot of the Witzenberg Mountains.

But Waverley Hills benefits from lying right on a natural water shed area - you're made more than aware of this as you drive throught the gates, or perhaps because spring is imminent, because wild flowers and grasses were growing ramapantly on either side of the sand road that wound its way up to the prominent wine cellar and restaurant.

Waverley Hills has been on urban sprout's directory , as one of few organic wines in the country, for some time. We've even managed to sample their olive oil, for they have olive groves too, at a couple of Cape Town food exhibitions, but not the wine, for some inexplicable reason – perhaps we haven't tried hard enough?

But we recently spent a quiet week in Tulbagh, and Waverley Hills made it to the top of our 'organic must do's' list, even if we didn't get there until en route back to Cape Town. Tulbagh, for those of you who haven't been there yet, is an utterly gorgeous little town, not even two hours' from Cape Town, and obviously perfect for a weekend away...

‘do nothing farming’ – fukuoka’s wise words

Submitted by Guest on Wed, 2009-08-12 09:22

Blog kindly written by Carey Finn.

These days, organic farming is more popular than ever. With organic box schemes, growing organic sections in supermarkets, and an increasing awareness on the part of consumers, it looks like organic is here to stay, and will only grow further. Certainly, organic farming, especially when it incorporates principles of permaculture and biodynamism, is a massive improvement on modern agriculture with its poisons and exploitations.

But it should not be seen as the plateau – as Masanobu Fukuoka, a wise farmer from Japan said, we have many more steps to take to return to the source; in other words, we have a way to go before we are truly growing our food in harmony with nature...

rawlicious - our top 5 recipes

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-08-06 10:08

Radically radish, the 2-tone sunrise smoothie, wild mushroom soup, brazil nut milk, Thai coleslaw and lemon tart with a twist (it's raw!) are what you can expect from Peter and Beryn Daniel's raw food recipe book entitled Rawlicious.

We fell on this book when it arrived. It really re-inspired us to eat more raw foods (we've always juiced and had smoothies and salads, but other dishes in Rawlicious are pretty enticing), particularly when I realised how easy some of the foods are to prepare.

It's brimming over with easy, delicious food that is healthy for you and goes a long way to...

the unhealthy truth: how our food is making us sick

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-07-16 10:36

- and what we can do about it.

Robyn O'Brien is an American mother. She is also a mother of children with allergies, something American (and South African) children appear to be suffering from at an alarmingly increasing rate. And Robyn wrote a book about why.

Her delvings have led to her being called the 'Erin Brokovich of the food industry' because she exposes the hidden dangers in the apparently 'safe' ingredients we feed our children and families.

1 out of every 3 American children today has allergies, asthma, ADHD or autism. There has been a 400% increase in allergies, a 300% increase in asthma, and a 400% increase in ADHD in the last 20 years.

public service announcement from the ministry of rice

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2009-06-22 21:25

At present, GM rice is not grown commercially anywhere in the world. But Bayer, the German chemical giant, has genetically manipulated rice to withstand higher doses of a toxic pesticide called glufosinate, which is considered to be so dangerous to humans and the environment that it will soon be banned from Europe.

Sign the petition: stand up for your rice!

how much sugar? stacks

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2009-05-22 10:49

Most of us have no clue how much sugar we consume on a daily basis, but seeing firsthand the effects of a sugar rush on a three year old (it ain't pretty) we've become more sensitive to the sugar content in foods. Sugar Stacks is a useful site to visualise just what 39g of sugar looks like.

There is sugar and then there is sugar. Not all types of sugars are metabolised equally and we would argue that naturally occuring fructose sugars in fruit would logically be healthier for you than added sugar in processed products.

As the sugar stackers say, "we don't differentiate between different types of sugar - i.e., sucrose, fructose, cane sugar, corn syrup, honey, etc., although there are differences in how these sugars are metabolized. We just used cubes of white sugar as a visual aid."

Sugar junkies can also follow the stackers blog.

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no 'holy cows' for Backsberg

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-05-07 11:07

I like Michael Back from Backsberg Estate.

Really, you can't help but respond to someone who looks a little like the nutty professor and spouts irreverent yet totally honest and unconventional thoughts on just what he has done on the Backsberg estate to make it the only carbon neutral wine estate in the country, and the third in the world.

When Simon Back first called to invite us out to Backsberg estate, along with a number of other journalists and bloggers (we travelled out there with Pia from Mother City Living), I turned to their website to find out more about them. There had been subtle 'rumours' about Backsberg, the gist of which I hadn't been able to pin down, so I was looking foward to getting the 'inside story'.

My initial reaction to the news of the estate's 'carbon neutrality' (there wasn't too much about it on the website) was – okay, so they've offset their carbon emissions by ...

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