eating & shopping organic in joburg

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2007-07-19 09:38

Joburgers are beginning to support the rapidly emerging organic market, not only because it’s really fashionable right now, but also because of a growing awareness that organic food is healthier and better for the environment. Nearly a quarter of American shoppers now buy organic and one in three people choose to buy organic over ‘conventional’ produce in the UK.

Securing a regular and reliable supply of organic fresh produce can still be a challenge for restaurants and retailers in Johannesburg as there are just not enough local farmers to meet the demand. Developments like the Organic Freedom Project should go long way in increasing the supply to the market. Nonetheless, there are some excellent outlets from which to source organic goodies if you know where to look.

Where to shop organic
Major outlets like Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay have both increased the number of stores with dedicated organic sections and, if you search amongst cleaning, baby and body products, some Pick ‘n Pay stores have organic alternatives sharing shelf space with conventional goods. Pick ‘n Pay stock Enchantrix, Wensleydale and Olli organic baby food. Woollies has an excellent organic food section, particularly in Greenside. Pity about all the packaging, though.

Fruits & Roots in Bryanston and Emmarentia offer a bevy of organic goods, both fresh and dry. They produce some organic goods under their label earth products and their health shops are a complete pleasure to visit! Their vegetarian restaurant in... Bryanston offers an array of healthy shakes, drinks and food that includes Vegan dishes.

Dunkeld Fruiterers and flowers stock a range of organic fruit and vegetables, the Flower & Nut Market in Ferndale has a good selection of organic flours and grains, and Greenlands in Parkhurst stock fresh organic produce and a good selection of organic wholefoods, and their popular vegetarian restaurant is definitely worth a visit.

Organic box delivery schemes
Wensleydale Farms do a regular vegetable box scheme and you can pick up your box from one of their designated pick-up spots that include the Bryanston organic market and Greenlands health shop in Parkview. Wensleydale market organic produce for over 80 organic farmers, so their range is excellent, and their organic dry goods are also available at some Pick ‘n Pay stores.

The Organic Emporium will deliver organic produce to your door every Friday in the northern suburbs of Jo’burg. The best way to use their service is to register online as a first-time user, and then follow the step-by-step guide to selecting your choice of organic fresh and dry goods. Foxglove Herbs & Delicacies who voice frustration at the unreliable local supply, are busy sourcing new farmers so that they can have their own supply of fresh organic goods and thus deliver box schemes to their customers. They produce their own range of organic products and wholefoods, and seasonal fresh produce when they can.

Where to eat organic
Margaret Roberts’ organic herb farm, admittedly only open on Wednesdays, not only provides a wonderful day out, training opportunities in organic herb growing and one of the largest collections of lavender, but there is a tea garden that uses only organic produce where you can while away the time.

The Salvation Café, in Millpark, is a wonderful collection of mismatched chairs, candelabra and some fantastic cooking, which includes using organic ingredients wherever possible and all the meat is free-range. The Fabulous Food Co. in Benmore Shopping Centre, is just that, a fabulous array of ‘fast food’ and meals that centre on healthy, organic and free range wherever possible. Lunch times are a bit of a bun fight it’s so popular and is one of the few places that serves organic coffees.

Earth 2 is a vegan restaurant that tries to use only Fair Trade products and supports organic and sustainable farming practices wherever possible. All of their coffee, chocolate and sugar, for example, are cultivated under ethical conditions. They firmly believe that a vegan diet has a smaller ecological footprint, and as they "really like cows and sheep and stuff", would hate to make them suffer if they can avoid it. They also arrange special events at the restaurant - sign up to their newsletter to be kept in the loop.

The Bryanston Organic Market, every Thursday and Saturday, is the best place to buy organic produce. It’s been running for over 31 years and with over 120 stalls that sell everything and anything you're bound to find something you like. All the fresh fruit and vegetables available are grown organically. Café Organica, at the Naturally Yours Wellness Centre in Bryanston can now boast that almost 80% of their food is organic. Their aim is food with "loads of flavour" and they cater for special diets – wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegetarian. One of their areas of expertise is corporate catering and they stock a selection of organic wines.

Last, but not least in your quest for organic fare, are two great online sources - Organics Online, who are continually increasing their range, and Choose Health – both will deliver organic food and other organic goodies direct to your door.

We're aware that this guide could quickly fall out of date. Refer to the following for up-to-the-minute suppliers of:

organic box delivery schemes
organic shops
restaurants, delis and eating out

Also see our green guide on eating and shopping organic in Cape Town.

And if you have any comments, suggestions or additions or if we left you out then let us know! You can comment below, email us or use our contact form.

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