Articles Posted in the Lifestyle category

Trendy organic shopping at the BluBird market

October 29, 2010
Posted in Lifestyle

The past couple of years have seen a boom in the number of organic markets in Johannesburg, from the long running Bryanston Organic Market to the relatively new Jozi Food Market, which we wrote about some time back.

This past weekend we headed out north, to the BluBird Wholefood market in Birnam, to take a look at what this market had to offer.

The food market is held at the trendy new BluBird shopping centre which is just off Corlett Drive and down the road from Wanderers cricket ground.

The food market is held every Sunday morning from 9am to 2pm and has a range of foods available from fresh breads to home-cured biltong and cheeses to pates, spices and olive oils. There’s Thai food, Indian spices, samoosas and croissants, all gathered together under the architectural eves.

Although relatively small there is still a wide enough selection of foods in offer at the market to make it worth a trip on Sunday morning. It’s perfect if you’re looking for something for a light Sunday lunch.

Our personal haul this time around included a couple of loaves of bread (including a fantastic rye loaf), a jar of sweet pate, a bag of biltong which was finished before we left the market, and some haloumi cheese.

The BluBird centre is unashamedly upmarket and you’ll have to mingle with the well-heeled enjoying Sunday breakfast, but for the food it’s worth at least one trip.

Saturday shopping at the Jozi Food Market

October 5, 2009
Posted in Lifestyle

jozifoodmarketLooking for something to do on Saturday morning we headed out to the Jozi Food Market in Parktown North this past weekend. I had been hearing good things about this year-old market and, although it’s not on our side of town, thought it worthwhile to take a drive out and take a look for ourselves. It was a trip well worthwhile, and one we’re likely to take again soon.

The market, held in the Parktown Quarter on the corner of 7th and 3rd avenues in Parktown North every Saturday, is a food-lover’s paradise which makes it hard not to overspend just a little. Not expecting much, we were pleasantly surprised by the fantastic range of organic, homemade foods on offer and the pleasant Saturday morning bustle around the market. The market has everything from honey to bread to organic wines to herbs, vegetables, cakes and pies on sale, all of it homegrown and homemade.

Our personal haul included a piece of real honeycomb and enough bread, cheese and pate to last us the weekend. The kids, meanwhile, enjoyed decorating their own Gingerbread men while we shopped. The stall owners were exceptionally friendly, almost falling over themselves to tell us exactly how they smoked their bacon, grew their herbs or harvested the honey. Which makes for a pleasant change from shopping in the local supermarket where everyone is sulking and just wants to get out.

Climate change: snow, fish, flights and food crops

February 13, 2009
Posted in Green News


A garden in London in early February

If you’re wondering how there can possibly be “gobal warming” when you see images on the news of snow storms in Britain and we’ve hardly seen the sun in Jo’burg for what seems like weeks, well, it’s probably La Niña’s fault, say the experts. But read this article on Scientific American for an explantation of what global warming means.


Warming seas at the tropics will cause fish stocks to move towards the poles in the next 50 years, a study of more than 1,000 fish species projects. The fish are likely to swim an average of about 200km either north or south to escape warmer water, the study says. Countries in the tropics are likely to suffer the most from reduced catches, William Cheung, the lead author of the study, from the University of British Columbia and the University of East Anglia, was reported as saying. But, he said, it would be more a “reshuffling” of the fish catches in the world’s oceans, the total fish catches would be little changed. Species at high risk of extinction would be those that thrive in cold waters that would have no where to go. [Reuters via Planet Ark]

Four airlines – Air France/KLM, Cathay Pacific, BA and Virgin Atlantic – have called for airline pollution to be included in the broader climate change treaty that is being negotiated to replace the Kyoto Protocol, Reuters reports. This is the first time airlines have moved to join the debate and it is a bid to try and steer the debate on an emissions deal rather than having one imposed on them, the report says. The aviation industry contributes about 2 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions. [Reuters via Planet Ark]

A study on the impact of climate change on crop yield and undernutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa has identified regional hotspots where early intervention may avert future hunger and improve food security. The study indicates that while some regions may be able to withstand the most severe impacts of climate change – and South Africa, Uganda and Ghana, may experience increased crop yields – most sub-Saharan countries will continue to experience a decline in per capita food availability. It is critically important that adaptation strategies be developed and implemented soon, particularly in the area of improved crop selection, extending crop area and increasing yield through improved water and fertiliser management, the study says. It suggests that countries such as Congo, Gabon, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and Sudan may suffer from lower crop yields. But the most important conclusion from this study, says Dr Steffen Fritz of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, is that “although overall crop yields may not decline, due to the projected increase in population and stagnating purchasing power, hunger will remain or even worsen if no drastic adaptation measures are taken”. The research was published in the recent Special Issue of Global and Planetary Change. [Via :: Polity]

Organic farming could feed Africa, says UN report

October 23, 2008
Posted in Food, Green News

The potential of organic farming to meet Africa’s growing food needs may have been underestimated. Britain’s Independent reports that a new study by the UN Environment Programme, which it says was released yesterday, shows that organic farming methods have increased crop yields by up to 128 percent in East Africa and provided much-needed income boosts for small farmers.

The UN’s findings provide a counterargument to increasing calls for genetically modified crops and industrial agriculture on the continent in the face of the global food crisis. Organic farming is seen by many as a Western lifestyle choice rather than a practical solution to feed Africa’s many hungry mouths. [See UK government’s former chief scientist David King’s remarks on the subject in the Guardian]

Read the full report on the Independent