A Divine Experience

A Divine Experience

I had no idea that Divine Foods' name, at Andringa Street Stellenbosch, was so perfectly chosen. It's easy to name your shop whatever, but to live up to it, is another matter. When I walked into this haven of organic and healthy living I noticed immediately what sets it apart from your normal shop:

I sit down to chat to the owner Sanet Brundyn. She has a Home Economic degree and researched MSG during her honours year. This was when she discovered the toxic effects of the variety of chemicals and additives found in so many foods we consume daily.

"Naturally occuring substances in foods are good for us, but as soon as you create them in a lab and add them artificially to your food, your health is compromised," says Sanette. Sanette's husband had a butchery in the past and she was shocked to see all the additives and extra fats in processed meats and other foods. "And we don't have any legislation protecting the consumer from these dangerous substances."

She encourages everyone, especially children, to carefully read product labels. "If you don't understand the words, drop the product," she believes. "If you can't make it in your own kitchen, don't eat it."

They branched out to include all organic foods, pulses, grains, beans and nuts. Everything is grown or hand-made locally. All her suppliers are carefully screened to ensure no additives are included. She joined the Slow Food movement 3 years ago in Italy and travels overseas often to learn from world health trends. This year they visited Italy, France and Russia - huge distributors of berries, a great source of anti-oxidants.

Divine Foods also offer a catering and baking service and stocks 2 local schools' tuck shops with healthy snacks. Their own label, the Divine Organic range, packed in recycled paper packets, is soon going to supply 500 stores in the Western Cape.

I certainly know where I'm going to eat next time I'm hungry in Stellenbosch - see you there!

Elma Pollard

This article about Divine Foods appeared in issue 3 (p. 11) of The Green Times