Dinner, when the city has gotten the better of you

My failsafe guide for an ethical dinner, wine, dessert, tea, and coffee when the city has gotten the better of you.

Living in a place like Cape Town, with its weekend markets, it shouldn’t be difficult to buy organic, ethically grown produce. Here in the city you can even combine your market trip with your social life. Markets like the Oranjezicht City Market, Neighbourgoods Market and the Hope Street Market serve street food, great coffee and even wine to keep you happily shopping, but mostly socialising. In Cape Town, buying your veg at a market is an event, not a chore.

But let’s be honest, we can’t be saints all the time. You forget to buy everything at the market and now it’s Monday, the bus is late, you’re hungry, there’s nothing to cook for dinner and the coffee for tomorrow morning is finished. City life can be frantic and we can’t always buy the things we need at the places we’d like to buy them.

So you’re heading to the grocery chain where you’ll be overwhelmed with choices. You’re convinced you’ll walk out of there with heaps of products and a guilt much heavier, not to mention the plastic bags, because who remembers to bring shopping bags with them to work?

Fairtrade Label

If you see this label on a product, you’re golden. It doesn’t matter if you buy it at the market or in the chain grocery store. This label means the farmers at the beginning of the product’s chain got their deserved dues, as the Fairtrade terms give them better terms of trade. Products on which you’ll find the label are coffees, teas, chocolates and wines. That’s half the important stuff sorted!

Click here for a full list of products

MSC Ecolabel

Buying fish in the supermarket is very tricky considering the overfishing and depletion of our oceans. This is why the Marine Stewardship Council founded the MSC Ecolabel. If you see this label on a seafood product, you can rest assured that it’s traceable all the way back to its source and that the source complies with certain sustainable principles. Now you have your protein for the evening sorted.

Click here for more on the MSC Ecolabel

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Weekly vegetable bags

I love the fact that I can walk into a grocery store and, apart from a single item here are there, I can skip the vegetable section completely. I gloat about it, actually. Harvest of Hope, Wild Organics and Green Road are only three of the organisations that deliver weekly, seasonal, organic vegetable boxes to collection points all over the city. All the vegetables are farmed on small farms and by buying them you care for both the farmers and the earth. The best perk: you never run out of fresh vegetables!

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