Yussuf Hassan of Cocopure spent 13 years of his youth in the Island of Zanzibar where the staple food is coconut. As a child together with others, he used to often climb coconut trees after school. ‘You need to be strong in the mind and body. It takes concentration, you have to plan every move and anticipate: The tree can fall and the wind can twist and swing it like a bucking bronco. Rats bite, you catch them sometimes in the top eating coconuts. You can tire and lose a grip, a foot can slip, the tree can be smooth with no grip.’ In Zanzibar diabetes is unheard of among those people who eat traditional diets. But when they abandon their native foods and adapt Western ways, disease of all types surface. The coconut palm is the tree of Life, because of its many different uses. These include: coconut sap (toddy) as a source of sugar, vinegar as alcohol; coconut water as a delicious, non-alcoholic beverage or vinegar and substitute for blood plasma in emergency surgical operations; coconut oil for cooking, as milk and cream, and for making soap, as diesel fuel, for lighting, for making candles; coir fibre for ropes and mats, cocopeat for horticulture; shell for buttons, decorative carving, burnt as a fuel and for charcoal; wood from the coconut stem for furniture and construction purposes; leaves for decoration and as a thatching material; finally the heart of the palm as vegetable salad (millionaire’s salad). He started Cocopure Manufacturing and Distributors in 2007 to bring this beneficial product to the consumers of South Africa.
Aloe Dale emerged out of a simple idea that Merryn Scott-Tluczek had to grow as much of the food consumed by her household as they could, in a sustainable and organic manner – including some food for their horses, dogs and chickens. Situated half-way between Pretoria and Johannesburg, they now grow a wide variety of organic herbs, vegetables and fruit to supply chefs, caterers, restauranteurs and delicatessens who care, as much as they do, about how the food they serve is grown. ”We have expanded over the years, having installed a large cold storage facility and now also encourage small-scale, holistic, polycultural agronomy by supporting local, sustainable growers: from households who produce a small excess for which they would not otherwise have a market, to NGO-run organic agricultural programs. It is significant that 80% of these growers have on-site bee-hives, wormeries and composteries of note!” says Merryn. We have also expanded growing operations at our small-holding in KZN. Aside from the extra growing space, this will enable us to grow an even wider variety of produce over a longer growing season.”
Not only are conventional farming methods inhumane, they also are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These harmful bacteria are passed on through feces of infected animals. Food, water, and vegetables can carry these bacteria when exposed to unhygienic conditions. Due to the conventional ways of farming today, our food is in high risk of these bacteria. PETA has exposed conventional farming where animals are kept and grown. They are contained in closed and controlled areas such as pens and cages that become their permanent homes. Each cage fits 4-5 chickens that restrict them from movement due to its small capacity, exposing them to fecal matter of diseased chickens. Pigs are kept in pens where there is not enough space to move, and their area of sleeping is also their area defecating. The products of conventional farming are sold commercially and food irradiation reduces the chances of the widespread of bacteria found in these contaminated food.
Food irradiation serves its purpose in killing bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. However it is clear that bad management in farms are the main causes for these food-borne diseases and has been the issue from the start. We must address to this issue rather than to hide the truth, which is concealed by bacteria eliminating radiation.
Organic farming practices good farm management that effectively avoids their produce from being tainted with salmonella and E. coli. Free-range farming is one method that allows livestock to roam in wide spaces that allows them to act in their natural behaviour. These animals are not restrained to dwell to in a single space; therefore the chances of animals being infected by the fecal of others are reduced. We advice that people should buy free-range meat to avoid any increased risks that comes with commercially sold meat.
– Look for meat that is labeled with “free-range” and “organic” in its packaging.
– Ask your local grocery if their meat from farms is free-ranged.
– Buy only from reliable sources, some factories label products “free-range”, but fed with
– Buy only eggs from free-range chickens.
Some of our Australops Hendrick and Saartjie roaming around the garden.
After months of research we finally took a leap of faith to source and grow local, lekker, organic produce we felt proud enough to sell.
Allie and myself officially launched Terra Madre on Saturday 11 February 2012 at the Irene Market. We headed off to the market at 5:30 in the morning (first timers. . we know better next time) not knowing how the Vaalies would take to our idea.
What a wonderful response we got! We almost sold out by 1pm that day.
We aim to be permanent features at the Irene Saturday market and will soon be at Hazelwood Food Market, Greenlyn Village Centre, Menlo Park, Pretoria and in Parkhurst too.
Until next time, be kind to yourself and the earth 😛