Croft Chicken and The Perversion of Perfect Leeks..


Big news firstly to those that have been waiting is that Croft chicken pieces are in. This is our last order for the year so if you want to stock up your freezers with clean chicken to get you through the silly season, please get your orders in as soon as. 
Similarly with the mince, you probably want to buy in bulk now to cover you while we are closed or to take down on holiday with you especially if you are going to be in strange towns where it may be impossible to find free range meat. 
We are also fully stocked with milk, butter, eggs and Mooberry dairy, fresh bread is in tormenting us all with the glorious smell, pastured bacon, prosciutto and cured mixed pork packs are in, mixed prepared veg packs from Ambersky are in, kale, spinach, chinese cabbage, mixed radishes, carrots, apples and lemons, herbs and more. 
See to see exactly what is in at the moment. While we’re talking kale and while apples are still around, try making green juice with apple, kale, mixed radishes, lemon juice, cucumber juice and ginger. You can get whole organic cucumbers from some Woolworths stores and this recipe makes for a nutrient packed vitamin boost, radishes pair beautifully with kale in juices.
I hope you all had a nourishing week-end. I hope you all at least burst out laughing once, ate something delicious  and nutrient dense once, erupted into a spontaneous heart-felt smilie once and felt at peace at least, once.

I actually spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen this week-end. The moody weather put a bee in my bonnet about making an old fashioned hearty sort of lamb pie with the frozen Karoo lamb that I still had.
The recipe required that the lamb be slow cooked in a lot of aromatic herbs and spices. I find that type of cooking very satisfying especially if I add good music, mischievous children, soulful company and great wine to the mix. I could live in my kitchen in that space, makes me extraordinarily happy.
The recipe though called for leeks which we have no hope of finding organically grown for now so I had to buy conventional ones. So there I was getting all the ingredients ready for the lamb pie and as I started on the store brought conventional leeks I marvelled and then very quickly irritated at how perfect they were.
As I was chopping them I was mindful of the fact that I had no idea where they came from unlike all the rest of my ingredients which I could link to a farm or at the very least a region and a farming philosophy.
The leeks gave nothing away. They were beautifully presented though, in fact I’ve never seen such perfect leeks. I felt extremely suspicious. I know enough about farming and the cycle of nature’s growth to know that nature does not favour uniformity, does not produce mechanically and that the best of nature’s beauty is found in diversity. Imagine if nature just produced only humans? Or cats. Or dogs, all perfectly uniform, with no variance in form or character. Would you want to live in a world like that? How does anything work or exist without diversity?
Yet when we see nature perverted by man to the extent that it is when we see an almost perfect packet of  leeks all the same size, all the same cut, totally unblemished, why aren’t we upset? At the very least suspicious? Nature does not present in this way. Not anywhere. Machines produce unblemished uniform objects. I don’t want to see that reflected in fresh produce, I know when I do that I’m staring at acres of a pesticide sprayed, mono-crop of dead soil.
There is nothing more unnatural than a uniform packet of vegetables. Ask any real farmer who farms produce naturally just how easy it is to get uniformly sized, unblemished produce and he’ll tell you that it isn’t possible without severely manipulating nature’s processes which is a great way to describe conventional farming. Pump dead soil that has no life left in it to grow anything of its own accord, with artificial fertilisers that only contain 3 of the thousands of minerals necessary to sustain life – nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, so that a plant can grow quickly.
Never mind that it is missing all the other trace elements that you would find in healthy soil organically found that would give it taste, antioxidants and strength – just prop the growth up with 3 – get it to look perfect quickly – nuke any living creature within sight with a cocktail of pesticides and then only pick those that are the right size for your packaging so that they can all stay the same. Throw 70% of those that aren’t perfect back onto the compost heap and sell the perfect packet of evenly sized leeks to somebody who thinks they are getting something of value based on appearance?
And this is our normal.
Cutting those perfect leeks – all the same size to the last inch into perfectly sized cuts upset me.
How far removed have we become from nature that we have learnt to equate uniformity as something of value? That we are happier to pick something off a shelf that looks shiny and uniform rather than the perversion that it is. I couldn’t find a grain of soil on my leeks either. There should be a suggestion of soil, I’d have felt more comfortable if I’d seen that at least.
Natures beautiful consistency is in her diversity. How a diverse range of differences create a whole.
A real food revolution requires us to think every time we cook and work with ingredients about what we are supporting in that purchase.
I was not proud of what those leeks stood for, I stand for the opposite, I stand for nature and for farmers who respect soil and look after her and love every opportunity I have to vote for them through what I choose to eat.
We can’t afford to eat unconsciously anymore.
We need to be connected to a real farmer and real soil and respect for life through every mouthful. Every mouthful is a vote.
Wishing you all a heart-felt, beautiful, nourishing week of conscious eating…Debbie
Yours in the Jozi Real Food Revolution,
The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium
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