health

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national marine week: time to reconsider that suntan

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-10-14 14:23

coral reef in the southern red seacoral reef in the southern red seaIt's that time of year when we all want to be spending more time out of doors and soaking up some of SA's great weather and head to the beach. This week is National Marine week and I learned something new: sunscreen swimmers wear is harming coral reefs. This was the finding of a study done back in 2008 by Roberto Danovaro of the Polytechnic University of Marche in Italy. They discovered that ingredients in sunscreen were responsible for killing off coral reefs. They estimated that 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen were released annually in reef areas.


the big green smoothie – secret to a perfect recipe

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2010-09-23 09:40

There's something about spring in the air that has brought about an upsurge in vegetable juicing and green smoothie making in our household.

Last night, for instance, we juiced a really delicious 'red' concoction – beetroot, cucumber, apple and pineapple – that our four-year old, red moustache in evidence, voted as 'even better' than the carrot juice we have finally got him to quaff.

My other half has expounded the health benefits of green juice for an age now. But no matter how many times I hear about how alkalising, high in anti-oxidants, rich in fibre, calcium and iron it is, there is something about the taste that is, well, I'm just not that mad about green juice.


honey - the sweet side of good health

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-08-23 16:49

Many people know that honey is good for us and many more know how great it tastes, but not everyone knows just how many different aspects there are to honey. Anthropologists and archaeologists believe that man has been hunting for honey for over 10 000 years. We have been keeping bees for millennia and they are mentioned in many religious texts. They provide us with many natural products including, honey, propolis, beeswax and pollen, all of which have been extremely useful to us. This post is only going to focus on honey.

Honey is made from the nectar found in flowers which is collected by bees and then partially digested before being regurgitated and stored in the honeycomb as a source of food for the bee larvae. Honey is sweet because it is made up of the sugars fructose and glucose and trace elements of amino acids and other beneficial qualities.

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eating raw pizza

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-07-28 11:12

I lifted the lid on the cardboard box containing my raw food pizza to take a peek.

The young woman behind the desk at Nourish, the health shop at Dean Street Arcade, joined me, and we silently stood looking at the array of avocado pear, caramelised onion, mushroom, sprouts and what looked like cream, but I had been assured was actually cashew nut cheese.

She pointed to my son and whispered 'Is he going to eat this?'. I shrugged. I couldn't get my four-year old to eat a normal pizza, nevermind this affair. I assured her, my mouth already watering at the prospect of tasting what was infront of me, that I hadn't sampled the fare yet either. 'I'm just helping out' she smiled, 'and I hadn't seen one of them before'...


why i'm ordering harvest of hope's organic box scheme

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-07-14 13:25

Every school week a box of vegetables is dropped off at my son's school with my name on it. It sits, in amongst similar boxes, awaiting pick-up. It must be said that I often forget and my box finds its way into the school fridge until I remember the following day to collect it.

My pack is always brimming over with a variety of fresh vegetables, picked on the morning of delivery. This might sound pretty obvious, but I have used other box delivery schemes in Cape Town where, because of logistics and through no fault of their own, you only receive your vegetables a couple of days after picking. This can make a huge difference to the state of your vegetables (Harvest of Hope's are firm, crisp and FRESH – gorgeous!).


planting the seed for a permanent solution through permaculture

Submitted by MichaelE on Tue, 2010-06-08 10:36

learning the permaculture way with SEEDlearning the permaculture way with SEEDSeed embodies what permaculture is all about. The Seed permaculture courses teach you how to design and grow your garden in a way that mimics the diverse biological systems in nature. The garden works as a whole system, providing ecological sustainability, whilst at the same time meeting human needs. Looking at a permaculture garden you may be forgiven for thinking that this is organised chaos! Yet as in nature, there is method in madness.

Plants are planted in a manner that conserves space and allows them to benefit each other. Seeds Saturday courses teach you the principles behind permaculture and how to go about adding permaculture to your own garden. The courses take place at


abalimi shows how micro-farming is the key to the future

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-05-10 12:00

Lulama Jim of the Masicendani garden picks carrots for Harvest of HopeLulama Jim of the Masicendani garden picks carrots for Harvest of HopeIf you are of a certain background, you are probably used to buying your vegetables cleaned, washed and chopped, pre-packaged and beautiful from Pick n’ Pay and Woolworths. Many of us want this kind of convenience. However this recent shift in consumer culture means that as a race, we have become lazier, especially in terms of our food production. This kind of production process is what is threatening our global food security. According to Abalimi Bezekhaya project facilitator Rob Small, the answer lies in community micro farming. Small believes that South Africa produces less than 25% of its food needs. He also said that “50% of the so called homelands are now vacant, as people are drawn to the cities and we have less and less people producing.”

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to eat or not to wheat?

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-05-07 08:29

It seems to be that more and more, there are people who have a wheat allergy, gluten intolerance or gluten enteropathy. Many of us cannot conceive of a lifestyle that excludes many of our favourite foods such as bread, cakes, biscuits and pasta. Yet this is what many people face daily - for the rest of their lives.We have been eating wheat for millennia as a race, but for some of us, our bodies are turning on one of our staple grains.

So what exactly in wheat is the cause of allergies?

Wheat is not just made up of carbohydrates or starch,

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gold 'n' delicious - an apple a day keeps the doctor away

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-04-29 13:27

apples - keep the doctor away this winterapples - keep the doctor away this winterThe apple. The forbidden fruit. There is extensive history and mythology surrounding the apple, and we have been eating apples for millennia, Archaeologists have evidence of people eating apples as far back as 6500 B.C. Apples originated in Central Asia and at least 55 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2005, with a value of about $10billion. The biggest producer of apples was China. South Africa has around 22,5 million Apple trees.The following areas are where they are mostly grown: Ermelo (Mpumalanga), Bethlehem( Free State), Langkloof, and many areas of the Western Cape. The Elgin Valley near Grabouw is the main producing area for apples in south Africa. 60% of South Africa’s apple crop is harvested in the Grabouw region, just one hour outside of Cape Town.


save a cow and eat your veg

Submitted by MichaelE on Tue, 2010-04-13 12:05

Cape Town has become the first city in Africa to officially endorse a meat free day a week. This is thanks to an initiative by Compassion in World Farming and was endorsed by the City’s Health Portfolio Committee.

Many South Africans love their meat and the country celebrates International Braai day; not that we need an excuse other than our good weather, many people seem to spend every weekend at a function including a braai.

Yet this massive consumption of meat – which is often beef or lamb, is adversely affecting the health of our general population and contributing to the global food crisis.


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