Good Food Conversations with Biowatch


Produced by Biowatch South Africa, this podcast is part of a series of conversations about good food – food that’s good for us and good for the planet.

The podcast series celebrates diversity in what we grow, cook, eat and store, and the diversity of voices passionate about good food that nourishes our bodies and our lives, as well as the web of life we share our gardens, fields, pastures and waters with.

Episode 13

Mvu Ngcoya

Mvuselelo Ngcoya talks to us about what Cuba can teach South Africa about achieving food sovereignty by shifting from large-scale industrial farms to small-scale agroecology farms. Mvu is an Associate Professor at the UKZN School of Built Environment and Development Studies, an agroecology farmer, and a Biowatch  Trustee.  


Episode 12

Elizabeth Mpofu and Nelson Mudzingwa
Elizabeth Mpofu, a founding member of the African Women’s Collaborative for Healthy Food Systems and the previous General Co-ordinator of La Via Campesina (until July 2021), and Nelson Mudzingwa, the National Co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZimSOFF), talk to us about the Shashe Agroecology School in Zimbabwe – part of an international network that shares food-growing knowledge proven by farmers to produce nutritious food while caring for the natural resources that make this possible.

Episode 11

Chantell Witten

Dr Chantell Witten of University of Free State gives us an insight into South Africa’s nutrition profile, and we talk about affordable ways to improve nutrition, especially for children, on a tight budget.  

Episode 10

Thombithini Ndwandwe

Seed saving is key for the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change and food insecurity. We visit with agroecology farmer Thombithini Ndwandwe near KwaHhohho in northern KwaZulu-Natal. For her, seed is part of culture; and as she received from her elders, so she is passing seed and knowledge on to her children.

Episode 9

Megan Wood

Megan Wood takes us on a tour of Essenwood Micro Dairy. For Megan, good food is ethical food and she talks to us about life and love on her small ethical dairy in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

Episode 8

Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson

Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson talks to us about strengthening traditional farmer-led seed systems and how proposed seed laws threaten food security and farmers’ rights. Gertrude is country co-ordinator for PELUM Zimbabwe, which co-ordinates the Zimbabwe Seed Sovereignty Programme and showcases agroecology farming successes at the Harare Food and Seed Festival.

Episode 7

Richard Haigh

Richard Haigh of Enaleni, an abundant agroecology farm near Pietermaritzburg, takes us on a tour of the living menu of the farm’s good food pop-up restaurant – Eataleni.

Episode 6

Method Gundidza

There are many spiritual practices that honour the connection between food, land, people, and all living things. Method Gundidza of EarthLore gives us an insight into African spiritual practices linked to traditional seed.

Episode 5

Pralini Naidoo

Through tracking traditional seed in one of South Africa’s immigrant communities, researcher Pralini Naidoo has uncovered a few new narratives around food, culture and tradition. On Good Food Conversations she shares some of her insights on traditional food in the context of indenture.

Episode 4

Lawrence Mkhaliphi

Lawrence Mkhaliphi, Biowatch’s Agroecology Manager, talks to us about what makes “good food”. For him, good food starts long before any produce reaches the kitchen. Good food, he says, starts with good farming. 

Episode 3

Zayaan Khan

Zayaan Khan is a food activist based in Cape Town who says that good health starts with strong biodiversity. She gives us tips on how to improve the diversity in our kitchens – and the nutrition in our diets – with fermentation and other ancient methods. 

Episode 2

Fakazile Mthethwa and Nikki Brighton

Gogo Qho is an agroecologist, and Gogo Nikki is a writer who promotes local economies. They say we can increase the diversity on our plates by being creative about what we harvest from the plants we grow, and what we forage from wild plants growing in our gardens and fields. Nikki’s recipe book Mnandi, co-authored with the Mpophomeni community, is available at book retailers or can be ordered by emailing 

Episode 1

Vanessa Black

Vanessa is the Advocacy, Research and Policy Co-ordinator at Biowatch. She says that as much as we need diversity on our plates, we also need diversity in a food system that offers us more and better choices about what we eat, how our food is grown, and how we access it.

New episodes

Are you or someone you know passionate about good food that’s nourishing and healthy (for us and for the planet)? Contact us, we’d love to have a good food conversation! 

Email us at or message +27 (0) 82 553 0589.


Biowatch Media Statement: World Food Day, 16 October 2020.
Cover-Biowatch_Snapshot _Impact of COVID-19 on food systems in SA
Document prepared for the Global Food Governance Working Group of the Civil Society and Indigenous People’s Mechanism (CSM) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
COVID-19 forces us to confront food insecurity and hunger in SA: Agroecology offers solutions in a crisis.