Finding Free Range and Organic Food in South Africa


The whole foods movement in South Africa is gaining momentum – though not to the point where we actually have Whole Foods supermarkets. But labels with words like “organic” and “free range” on them – which used to cause traffic jams, they were so freakish – keep appearing on shelves, to the point where they’re almost common now.

  • The best place to find whole foods basics like organic milk, free range chicken and ostrich and organic wine and chocolate (of course!) is Woolworth’s.
  • (Note: this store has nothing to do with the one in the States of the same name.)

All Woolworths milk – even the non-organic kind – is hormone-free. Don’t bother searching for its organic products online – it’s best to just go into a shop and poke around. There are dedicated sections for organic produce (which tend to empty towards 5 p.m.) and the staff are usually quite helpful in tracking items down. Larger Woolworths sell clothes in addition to food: if the first thing you see upon entering one is rows of beige slacks, press on, adventurer! You’ll get to the edible stuff eventually.

Pick ‘n Pay, meanwhile, also sells the odd free range chicken, and has a limited variety of organic produce. (Don’t bother with the website, which looks like it was built for kids just starting to learn language.)

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Farm stalls and farmer’s markets also often have organic food for sale, so why not toodle over to one of these on a weekend morn? There is an interesting, if patchy, list of Farmer’s Markets here. Some top picks:

  • The Bryanston Organic Market, aka the Michael Mount Organic Market, outside of Johannesburg. Probably the best selection of organic fruit and veg anywhere in the country.
  • The Farmer’s Market at Oude Libertas Wine Estate, in Stellenbosch. Open 8ish – 12 a.m. on Saturday mornings.
  • Giovanni’s Deli, at 103 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town. The deli features an organic food stall on Saturday mornings. +27 (0) 434 6893
  • The Noordhoek Farm Village, in Noordhoek, Cape Town. What a spread! This place has everything from an organic nusery (greenhouse), to a children’s playground, to a pub.
  • On the Garden Route, a stop at the George Famer’s Market in George is essential. Or see the aforementioned interesting, patchy farmer’s market index.
  • Last, for organic goodies in Durban, head to the Brentwood Nursery’s market in the Valley of 1000 Hills. +27 (0) 83 777 1395