Mindful Monday – Rabbit Farming Concerns

MindfulMondayEach time You eat something, You are endorsing the journey it has travelled to your mouth so here are some delicious and mindful eating recipes for you to enjoy.

Creamy Coconut Eggplant Curry

Serves 4
1 large eggplant, cubed
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can full fat coconut milk
Chopped coriander

Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a heavy based pan over medium-high heat.
When it’s sizzling hot, add eggplant cubes and saute’ for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every now and then. Once eggplant cubes have browned, transfer them to a plate. Set aside.
Return the pan to the stove, add remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds, cover with a lid and let them pop for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Be careful not to burn.
Lower the heat, and add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Saute’ for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add onion and salt and saute’ for about 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent.
Add tomato paste, coconut milk and garam masala and bring to a boil. Add eggplant cubes and cook for 10 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken.
Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.


Mindful Eating Fact: Rabbit Farming in South Africa, NSPCA uncovered unacceptable conditions.

There has been an increase of rabbit on South African restaurant menus, the concern is not because of the cute bunny factor but because there are no regulations pertaining to rabbit farming in South Africa. Rabbit farming is a profitable business because of the fast growing rate of the animal and their food converting rate is better than other animals. Farmers can also make additional money by selling the furs.

Through the donkey meat scandal, South Africans became aware of the lack of oversight and issues of manpower for the DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries). We ask, who is keeping watch on the conditions of rabbit farming?

Has the chef that is placing rabbit meat on their menu visited the farm that they source from? Have they seen if the rabbits are kept in commercial cages or deep litter cages?  Since there are few registered rabbit abattoirs in South Africa, how long did the rabbit need to travel to the slaughterhouse? Do they know how the rabbit has been slaughtered?

“In South Africa rabbit meat is a delicacy served in expensive restaurants but a large quantity of rabbit meat is also exported to the international market. Although our initial concern with regards to rabbit farming was the method of slaughter, our investigations and inspections have uncovered unacceptable conditions under which rabbits are bred and reared. We took a strong stance against the breeding and housing of rabbits in cages.” NSPCA (National Council of SPCA’s)

Consumers need to be asking these questions NOW before cruel rabbit farming practices become entrenched in South Africa. Don’t eat rabbit meat unless you know who has farmed it, how they have farmed it and how the animal was slaughtered.

“Rabbit meat will now be sold in supermarket chains to the general public competing with the likes of chicken in the SA food market. The animal is usually considered a pet by some but now a special breed which produces white meat is hitting the shelves, as well as the dinner plate.CCTV’s Travers Andrews has this story.” View this story on Youtube here


Sonia Mountford

Sonia Mountford lived as an expat in the Middle East for a number of years and enjoyed travelling and exposure to third and first world cultures. Her interest in food security began while visiting in Sri Lanka after floods and discovering the politics around Food Aid. As a co-founder of Grass Consumer Action and the only full time member, she spent four years researching the dysfunctional food system in South Africa, investigating, questioning and exposing misleading claims. Although her interests range from food politics to toxins in our food, including harmful ingredients in processed foods and Big Food influence; she soon came to realize that the most important part of the food journey begins on farms. For that reason she spends much of her time visiting farms, learning and talking about constraints and concerns in production methods with farmers. Passionate about nutritional food security she believes higher animal welfare farming practices are not only necessary for ethical reasons but also for human health. She is an ambassador for SOIL, BEES and healthy WATER. Mountford started EATegrity (eategrity.co.za) “Helping You Find Integrity in the Food Chain” in 2015. Her aim is create greater consumer awareness about the food chain and to encourage transparency in the South African food industry.

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