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healing herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-04-08 08:42

That line made famous by Simon and Garfunkel, lists some of the most famous herbs, that many people will be able to recognize. Herbs are very useful plants and are the basis of many of our medicines and the perfume industry. Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are mostly associated with culinary uses, but they also have other properties that you may not know about. Most people probably have these herbs in a dry form, stashed away in the cupboard. However, fresh herbs are the best, as then the nutrient and health properties are at their best. You do not need a large space to have your own small herb garden – even your kitchen windowsill will do.


One of the most widely cultivated herbs in Europe, Parsley gained popularity during the Roman times. Parsley belongs to the

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let them eat chocolate for easter

Submitted by MichaelE on Sun, 2010-04-04 13:59

organic easter eggsorganic easter eggsEaster, for some it means the end of Lent, and is one of the holiest days of the year, in the Christian calendar. It is a celebration of Resurrection, Life re birth. Yet in modern times, what it is mostly associated with is chocolate. If you have not read Joanne Harris's Chocolat, and like chocolate do read it!

“In my dreams I gorge on chocolates, I roll in chocolates, and their texture is not brittle but soft as flesh, like a thousand mouths on my body, devouring me in fluttering small bites. To die beneath their tender gluttony seems the culmination of every temptation I have ever known.”

greening it up - tiger on brink, eskom sued to reveal tariffs, sustainably grown tuna, cloves and more

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-03-19 10:05

Tiger nearly extinct in the wild: pic by HeWhoWalksWithTigersTiger nearly extinct in the wild: pic by HeWhoWalksWithTigers

Eskom taken to court to reveal corporate tariffs

Sake24 has lodged a high court application to force electricity utility Eskom to reveal the tariffs it charges BHP Billiton, one of the world's largest mining companies, Beeld reported on Thursday. Sake24 wants to know how much its aluminium operations in Richard's Bay and Mozambique pay for electricity.

This comes after an investigations which showed that these operations used as much power as cities such as Durban and Cape Town.

Beeld said the tariffs BHP Billiton paid were lower than what it cost Eskom to generate the electricity. Eskom has declined to reveal how much BHP Billiton pays. More

Energy efficiency standards planned for this year

Business can expect mandatory energy efficiency standards, for both fuel and buildings, in a new

slow food mother city

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-03-17 11:44

Slow Food Mother CitySlow Food Mother CityMy experience is that there is a growing disconnect between people and the food they consume (I use the word consume because I think eating has connotations which often don't apply). I have many friends who cannot cook, many more who struggle to determine the difference between healthy and unhealthy options and most people I know don't have a clue where their food comes from, how it got to them or how it was processed (I could use the word made instead of processed, but again it suggests human intervention which is seldom the case).

This trend is concerning to me, and I am not alone. Slow Food is represented in over 130 countries and has more than 100 000 members. The movement started about 20 years ago in Italy.

the cost of living next to a vineyard

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-03-05 10:49

Spraying vineyardsSpraying vineyardsIt has been known for some time that people are being affected by spray drift from pesticides, there have been several incidences of pesticide poisonings in South Africa.

“It is estimated that worldwide, 25 million people are poisoned by pesticides each year.” This is the lead slogan of The Air That I Breathe Foundation (Tatib), which has been formed by the local residents of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Somerset West & surrounding areas, as a platform from which they can campaign against the harmful effects of exposure to potentially toxic spray drift from the adjacent vineyards & orchards, into bordering dwellings/residential areas.

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chemical warfare. what products in your home are slowly killing you?

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-02-25 14:35

At the end of last month the CANSA association of South Africa launched its in-house initiative aimed at researching the environmental factors that cause cancer. The keynote address was given by Dr Devra Davis, a leading American scientist, who founded the world's first centre to focus on the environmental factors that cause cancer.

February 4th was World Cancer Day, and informed by the CANSA program, I thought it would be a good idea to look at what cancer-causing chemicals could be in the products in your home.

dear minister buyelwa sonjica, about that gm maize...

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2010-02-15 12:08

Ammendments to the law in SA mean that, despite the fact that the country has been growing genetically modified crops since 1997 and has never conducted a single environmental impact assessment (EIA), the Minister of Environment now has the power to carry out EIAs.

Join The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) in their most recent campaign – to call for an EIA for Syngenta's application to government to permit them to commercially release a new event of genetically modified maize, called GA21.

This maize is resistant to their herbicide, Touchdown Forte. The technology gives farmers the freedom to spray poisonous herbicide indiscriminately, as the poison will kill everything except the crop, which is modified to survive the poison (in much the same vein as Monsanto's Roundup).

eight at spier - fab food and big on the environment

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2010-02-11 13:18

Before the word gets out, I thought I’d share my addiction to the latest restaurant to open on the Spier Wine Estate in Lyndedoch Road, Stellenbosch. Eight at Spier serves good wholesome breakfasts, brunches and lunches on the grounds of the popular weekend destination.

The restaurant is child-friendly, affordable, and one of very few restaurants with a green ethos where environmental consciousness and commitment to the Earth is a high priority. Most of all, the restaurant lacks pretentiousness, and easily ranks as one of the best places to get a decent, healthy breakfast over a weekend …

gm corn research shows liver, kidney toxicity

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-01-19 11:26

A new GM study by the University of Caen in France shows a negative impact on the function of kidneys and liver in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.

From the study:
"We investigated three different GM corn namely NK 603, MON 810 and MON 863, which were fed to rats for 90 days. The raw data have been obtained by European governments and made publically available for scrutiny and counter-evaluation.

“These studies constitute a model to investigate possible subchronic toxicological effects of these GM cereals in mammals and humans. These are the longest in vivo tests performed with mammals consuming these GMOs. The animals were monitored for numerous blood and organ parameters.

top 10 news stories for 2009

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-12-29 13:46

2010 is virtually upon us, but before we allow the new year to sweep us back into the swing of things, it's a good moment to reflect on the past year and what news stories were most popular with our readers.

1. is Woolworths just another bad egg?
So there you are; surrounded by posters of poultry basking in their freedom, your conscience and shopping experience clean because you are promised that the eggs you are buying came from free-range chickens. If chickens could smile, I’m sure we would be confronted by an enormous picture of a splendid beaky grin.

2. you can recycle tetra pak!
I have to confess to sending various irate messages to Tetra Pak over the last year about their apparent lack of recycling facilities in Cape Town, or the country for that matter. The perception out there, despite their very obvious drive to recycle overseas, is that one can't recycle tetra pak, and there are a fair amount of them if you consider things like fruit juice, some olive oil, long-life milk and custard all come in these containers – they heap up over time!

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