Spring Time, Wild Limes and CERA to Tackle 50 Shades of Food Illusion…

Food Illusion

Food Illusion

Before I launch into my usual chatter, I’m going to start with a list of the topical things in-store right now for those who only want store news in a ‘what’s in’, what’s out format.The juicy nattering will come afterward for those who want to that connection to my musings and the stories and issues that characterise the Jozi Real Food Revolution issues of the day.

In-Store Today:

Organic Fruit & Veg:
Sweet-Corn – only time we can eat non-GM corn – steam and serve with Mooberry butter
Spinach – try the spinach with lime and butter for a different twist – I heat olive oil gently in a pan with 2 cloves of garlic and 1 chilli – the garlic and chilli infuse into the oil – then add your torn up spinach and put a lid over the pan so that the spinach wilts into the oil, remove after 5 minutes and squeeze over some fresh lemons or lime juice, salt and pepper and a knob of Mooberry butter. You’ll fall in love with spinach all over again.
Sprouts – Alfala, Fenugreek, Japanese Radish, Lentil, Mustard and Chickpeas
Courgettes – check out our FACEBOOK page today for a gorgeous salad recipe with courgettes, roast cocktail tomatoes and Gourmet Greek pecorino
Cocktail Tomatoes
Tatsoi – Juice with lime, use as a salad base or gently stir-fry in olive oil or butter
Cauliflower – the abundance of organic cauliflower at the moment is a treat – mashing it with butter and using it as a mash base for hearty cuts of Keith Harvey’s beef is a regular treat
Giant Cabbages – absurd value for money as they are about 4 times the size of conventional.See the pictures on our FACEBOOK page. When we have them, we stir fry them once a week with luscious Mooberry butter and onions. Try make a warm cabbage juice stir-fried like this with a good blob of Mooberry and then stir through some thin cuts of the Jewel & Co Saucisson Sec cured sausage
Beetroot – do yourself a favour and roast with balsamic oil and olive oil and serve as a warm salad with a good cheese tossed through, a hearty handful of dark greens of choice (Kazi Baby Leaves would work or rocket) and grate over some fresh lemon or lime rind – I’ve learnt of late that a citrusy tang on roast beetroot is stupid lovely – lifts the sweetness
Limes from a wild grove on a Limpopo game farm – limited stock and we don’t see these that often but if you’ve only tasted a conventionally grown lime – try this out to see the difference – stronger flavour, more juice and a stronger ‘lime’ flavour that comes through
Kazi Farm Baby Greens and Baby Spinach
Herbs – Rocket and parsley
Turnips – Work so well with rich cheeses and butters – try thin slice – roast with lashings of butter, Mooberry Cream and Gourmet Greek pecorino
Broccolli – Try and steam and toss through anchovies – serve with a squeeze of lemon – brocolli and anchovies are the most dreamy combination – the creaminess of brocolli is tempered by the salty richness of anchovies and it just makes a party in my mouth really.
Celery Bunches and Oregano – from an organic herb garden of a customer – limited stock
Jozi Real Food Sustainable Chicken Farms:
CT Organics Pastured Chickens – all cuts in-store as well as their chicken liver pate
The Free Range Food Farm Style Whole Birds
While we have the wild limes in-store – try roasting your chicken pieces with lime and a drizzle of your favourite honey. Lime and honey and chicken with a strong herb like oregano, thyme or rosemary – just works so beautifully. I wouldn’t stuff the cavity with an onion if you try this route, the onion just doesn’t work well with lime – stuff the cavity rather with lime and the best herbs you can get your hands on – olive oil, Mooberry butter and then coat the outside of the bird with olive oil and fresh lime juice and lime zest – then drizzle honey over that and rub it in – roast on a low temperature for roughly an hour per kg – 150 degrees celsius. These birds need longer cooking at a slower temperature.
For CTOrganics Pastured chicken cuts – please try this – take a cup of The Gourmet Greek Double Thick Yoghurt – squeeze through some fresh lime juice, a splash of coconut water, lime zest and add thyme, salt and pepper. Marinade the pieces over night in this mixture – then cook them. You can also coat the chicken pieces once you’ve taken them out of the marinade with coconut and then cook with coconut oil. Coconut oil and lime work beautifully together.
Jozi Real Food Pork – Glen Oakes Pastured Pork
Jewel & Co Charcuterie using Glen Oakes Pastured Pork – Signature Streaky Pork Belly Bacon, Walters Ham, Pinotage and Fennel Salami, Saucisson Sec and Italian Squashed Salami. Try the Saucisson Sec or the bacon paired with cabbage, great friends.
Jozi Real Food Beef – Keith Harvey’s Veldt Reared Beef
Our favourite holistic management farmer. Keeping veldt biodiverse through grazing cattle in a way that mimics nature where you would have large herds moving across savannahs, grazing and fertilising the soil as they moved in a mutually beneficial relationship between animal, soil and grass health. This method of farming keeps grasslands biodiverse and ensures that cattle can be grazed on a more than adequate veldt life without the addition of supplemental grains.
Cuts this week – Sirloin, Rump, Ribeye, Mince 80/20 and 90/10, Brisket, Chuck, Fillet, Soft Shin, Beef Fat packs ready to render to Grass-Fed Beef tallow, oxtail (limited), marrow and stock bones.
The dry wors we make from Keith’s beef is made to a strict recipe that only includes certified organic pepper, certified organic coriander, kalahari salt and the grass-fed beef and fat. I only use the certified organic 2 spices to ensure that there are no fillers, starch, gluten or grain in the recipe. It drives me batty when I see a good dry wors that has all the goodness of grass-fed beef made with conventional spice mixes that contain gluten, GM corn, soy, starch and sugar, all that effort to keep that nonsense out the cows diet and then you throw it in the biltong and wors mix, no sense at all.
Aldersyde Farm – Tarkastad Karoo Lamb:
Half lamb boxes coming in on Monday – place your orders with michael@organicemporium.co.za. There are still a few stewing and stock cuts in the freezer, ask Cassandra to show them to you if you’re looking to make a stew or lamb stock this week-end.
On the Tasting Table Today:
Jewel & Co – Saucisson Sec sausage – slice thinly and serve on your cheese-boards, with Kazi greens or with an omelette or cabbage. Keith Harvey’s Dry Wors.
Jakhalskos Nougat
Hand-made French Style nougat made with real free-range eggs (as in really outdoors pecking about and living a normal life, not conventional ‘free range’), vanilla, certified organic sugar and local honey from a non-conventional farm and macadamias. This is for anybody looking for a nougat or sweet treat that doesn’t come with GM corn syrup and just has real ingredients without additives or preservatives.
Compare those ingredients to the ones I list here from a conventional French nougat bar I’ve just purchased for comparison – Sugar, Glucose Syrup (will be GM), Peanuts, Invert Sugar, Egg albumen (not whole free range eggs), Beef gelatine (from feedlot source no doubt), Acidity Regulators, Potato Starch, Palm Oil, Flavouring, Colourants.
I’ll say no more.
Nandine and I go way back to the old days when this was only an online business and she’s a delight, proceeds from the sale of this bar go towards a cause she feels particularly passionate about – protecting our indigenous dog the Africanis from extinction and raising awareness of the importance of the first dog on this continent.
We’ll have tastings out on anything new – there’s quite a bit of new things coming on board at the moment, I’ll put up snippets and photos on FACEBOOK of things I think you might find exciting.

CERA – The Conscious and Ethical Retailer, Consumers and Producers Alliance – Update – A coming together of some of the greatest leaders in the SA Food Revolution to address 50 Shades of Food Illusion

This is getting very exciting.
As things now stand we have some of the greatest leaders, activists, journalists, conscious consumers farmers and related businesses attending the launch workshops.
Everybody is very excited about this and despite feeling a little daunted (understatement) at the undertaking of this, every day  I am reminded of why it is so mission critical.
We need incorruptible and determined contributors to The SA Food Revolution to all come together now into a focused alliance with consumers to shape this space. Without this, green-washing which is becoming so ridiculous my mind boggles and my patience snaps – is only going to get worse.
Every week, I have samples put on my desk of things that do not belong in a store like this – yet because there are other ‘health and related’ stores like ours out there who are stocking this stuff and illusion – there is an expectation that we will.
We have small, sometimes great artisans doing amazing things who have their produce up in other stores but we can’t take it on because the labelling is not in alignment with the labelling laws or the Consumer Protection Act so we’re having to start playing the role of coaching artisans on getting their produce retail fit.
Produce incorrectly labeled – most especially in the green, ‘health’ and sustainable food space is right now – I’m sad to say – the most mislabelled area of our food system. This isn’t good for the whole sector.
CERA will be the solution to this. It will bring us all together to work on vetting and checking new farmers and producers in the sustainable food space, quickly identify the charlatans and misleading claims and stop them from tainting the whole revolution space with green-washing, bringing the same illusion that characterised conventional food – to this space.
We will not tolerate it. This revolution is too important and there are too many of us – around the country who have sacrificed much to the cause and who have put our necks out to passionately stand for the green revolution to sit back and watch the space perverted by green-spinners.
If you are a conscious consumer and want to participate and add your voice on what is approved by CERA and you are willing to dedicate time and effort to get involved – you will get to meet and interact with some of this country’s greatest food activists, ethical retailers, farmers and food activists – think about joining the launch workshops. All details are here.
Invitation is open to ‘anybody, organisation, ethical retailer, chefs, food artisan, producer, NGO, business or interest that is involved in shaping the SA Food Revolution by contributing towards the creation of an alternate food system.
If you want to forward the draft proposal to your favourite retailer, business, food producer, activist organisation, conscious consumers , green chef or other and you’re not sure whether they are right to join – the question to ask is ‘do they contribute towards the creation of an alternate food system to the dominant conventional conveyor belt one’ – if the answer is yes, they deserve to be there to explore whether it is an alliance they want to join. Please share the invitation by sharing the draft proposal.
If they aren’t suitable, the membership criteria for category Conscious & Ethical Retailer, Conscious & Ethical Consumer and Conscious & Ethical Producer – will weed out those that don’t belong there. It is critical to attend the first launch workshops if you’re keen to get involved as decisions will be made there in a participatory process to define membership criteria.

Coconut Water An Example Of Why SA Labelling Is Important

That said, I need to chat quickly about the coconut water in-store. This product, though I think is the best I can find on the market right now, is an example of where labelling can get misleading and evidence that this happens in other countries as much as ours.
I like this coconut water because it answers questions I haven’t been able to have answered adequately enough before, where are the coconuts coming from, can this be verified and traced, is it single source origin or using coconuts from multiple sources is there any added sugar, is it made from concentrate or not, does it contain preservatives or additives, is there somebody to back the information.
So whilst the Chef Pete Evans endorsed Raw C coconut water answers those questions, the packaging is actually not in alignment with South African labelling law and is further evidence to me or the superiority of our labelling Act, actually. We have some great legislation in this country, truly, where we fall flat is on government enforcement, resources and expertise.
So the Jozi agent will be covering up the words ‘Natural’ on the packaging. According to our ACT R146 which legislates through the Consumer Protection Act – how things are labelled – you cannot use the word ‘Natural’ – on anything that has been altered from it’s whole, natural state.
Start looking at labels and look out for the word ‘Natural’ – can it be truly said that what is in the packet is Natural? Natural means – it is as you would find it in nature without any adulteration.
I will do a summary of the what the labelling law says about the use of the word ‘Natural’ on our FACEBOOK page before the end of the week-end and I want you to start building a file of the labelling summaries I give you so that you can be armed with a keen eye to pick up mis-labelling whe you see it.
In the near future, we will have Jozi Real Food pocket buying guides in-store that teach you what you need to know about labels and give you a reference guide of what to look out for and what different sustainable claims need to mean and which aren’t permmisable.
Educating you,so that you are empowered out there is a critical part of the food revolution. If the wool can’t be pulled over your eyes – it’ll be more difficult for green-washers to target you.
So your first labelling home-work is to start looking out for and noticing where the word ‘Natural’ is used – it has become one of the most loaded and manipulated green-washing terms we’ve yet seen.
In this country – you would not be allowed to use the word ‘Natural’ on a coconut water that has been flash pasteurised. Even if only for 2 seconds. The fact is that the wording and the company name ‘Raw C’ and ‘raw hydration’ create a misleading impression that the contents are raw when actually the water – like any coconut water you will find that isn’t frozen – has to be.
This is a great example of what our Consumer Protection Act means to do – to protect the consumer from misleading claims. The company name is ‘Raw C’ – the coconut water is not. It is one of the least pasteurised we’ve found – flash pasteurised for only 2 seconds – but it isn’t in terms of the law – ‘Natural’ then or ‘Raw.
We will be getting that taken off the labelling and this is what we are on high alert for at the moment and what CERA will monitor and check in the food revolution space.
Other than that – I’ve had some great experiences too this week with new artisans where I haven’t been able to take on their produce – incorrect labelling – but where I’ve worked with them to find out where they come from and what they mean to achieve and have discovered something exciting.
Like the new lady making kefir that we can’t put on the shelf as the label isn’t in alignment and I don’t know anything about the farm that she is getting the dairy from. Then we chat about the labels and I ask where the milk is coming from and the next minute she’s describing a farm my blood starts pumping for – small, family run where the cows are only eating grass and oats!
And then I get to tell her that she is absolutely under-selling what she has – that she needs to get me to this farm asap – because if that is really true- there is no way her dairy should just be marked ‘kefir’ on the shelf – we want to know about this farm and I want to get there and check it out and shout it out from the rooftops because a farm like that is gold-dust.
So there’s all that joy happening too.
The sweet man who came in all excited with his 2 new coconut nut butter spreads that are so delicious, I wanted to weep a bit – but the packaging is all wrong – you can’t say ‘home-made’ on a product without inviting all sorts of trouble so that has to come off but as we work with him though it will take us longer to get what he has onto shelves here, at least we know that when it’s right, it’s right and we can ensure small artisans do themselves and this revolution space justice by just getting things right from the start. We all deserve that because we all deserve an alternative, real food alternate food offering to the conventional one that dominates and harms.
You will also notice that we will making any product that has health claims on it – change their labelling.
It is absolutely illegal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act – to make any kind of health claims on packaging. There is very good reason for this – even though health benefits on many of the products I’ve seen are often true – there are just as many that aren’t. You aren’t allowed to do it period.
So the new sprouts that came in yesterday, the farmer had put information on the packs to tell you about the different properties of the sprouts. That unfortunately stands as a ‘health claim’ and it has to come off.
Another one we’ll be teaching you to watch out for – we know now to be on high alert when we see packaging with ‘health claims’. I will talk more in my next newsletter about this one and why the Consumer Protection Act prohibits this as a protection mechanism.
Then the ones that make me shake my head and my blood pressure rise.
The ‘banting’ mayonnaise made with battery farmed eggs.
Please don’t ask me for it, it’s not coming anywhere near this store.
Once I find a great ‘banting’ mayonnaise made with free-range eggs from a farm I trust – we’ll have it, I’m working on a fresh recipe as we speak but everything that is new in the space, we check out and sjoe – it makes me quite mad at some of the responses we get.
The last was a Kombucha agent with a terribly illegal label in terms of our labelling law and when she had this pointed out to her – replied ‘never mind, we’ve got it in another store and we are only the distributors – we do not need to know how it is made’ nor are we responsible for the labels. !
Fuming. Yes, actually you do.
It is a prosecutable offence for anybody in the chain to sell mislabelled produce not in alignment with the Consumer Protection Act and be clear that if you are bottling live bacteria that has resulted in deaths when not brewed properly and you want me to sell your live bacterial ferment – you had better not tell me that you know nothing about where it comes from and that you don’t have to because you only distribute it. I cannot begin to tell you how dangerous this is and yet this Kombucha is everywhere.
If you are seeing a product everywhere else but not here, there will be good reason, just trust me on this.
CERA. That’s where I take my anger and transmute it into the equal and opposite of this green-washing – we will create something powerful enough to ensure that this nonsense in the food place doesn’t happen in the true sustainable place full of incorruptible people.
The SA Food Revolution needs an army of educated customers to drive it and shape it and that’s why CERA and that’s why I’ll be making every effort to get you information that allows you to shop more discerningly.
All that said – just keep it simple – eat Real Food from Real Farmers who farm sustainably and all will be well.
Have a Gorgeous Spring Week-end, perhaps it’s the week-end for the first Spring braai?
Onwards and Upwards with The Jozi Real Food Revolution.
Standing for you right to access food from South Africa’s most sustainable farmers,
Debbie Logan
Yours in the Jozi Real Food Revolution,
The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium
Organic Blog – www.organicblog.co.za
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