Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Sexy’s simply the best

Once Bitten

Food cafés in some branches of the Wellness Warehouse have been up and running for some years. Recently, the Kloof Street, Cape Town, branch added some new counters. The other day, there was a Frenchman serving very palatable vegan buckwheat crêpes topped with avocado, baby tomatoes and mushrooms.

A new fixture is Sexy Food, probably best known for their buchu water on sale at certain supermarkets and convenience stores. Buchu is well known to the Khoi and San and is purported to have many miraculous properties, especially relating to the renal and digestive system. Buchu-infused vinegar was used to wash wounds and was apparently a lifesaver for troops in the Crimean War.

When I travel to dodgy and remote places, on the advice of an eccentric botanist, I take a tot of buchu brandy every night and a little with my toothpaste. Perhaps it is pure chance, but I suffer from more tummy bugs researching Once Bitten than when I am backpacking off the beaten track.

I’ve become hooked on Sexy Food buchu water and drink a glass a day, though I’m under no illusions; its health benefits are unproven. Sexy Food is the brainchild of James Kuiper. Still a young man, he is a lymphatic cancer survivor. He underwent conventional cancer treatment and it worked. But in remission he felt rundown. He started to experiment on himself to see whether diet made a difference. He stopped dairy, then bread, then caffeine, then sugar. Kuiper believes he enjoyed marked benefits.

Sexy burgers 
Then he discovered chia seeds and other “superfoods” (things such as goji berries, maca, camucamu and lacuma powder). Kuiper is keen on chia seeds and his passion is for sprouts and microherbs. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that sprouted foods are better for you or more nutritious than when they are consumed in unsprouted form. There are nutritional differences, but they are minuscule. 

Sprouts are also risky if obtained from a supplier that isn’t particular. They have been responsible for some serious bacterial outbreaks of salmonella and E coli that resulted in legislators tightening up production rules in the United States, Canada and the European Union.

Most of us associate sprouts with salads and some Asian dishes, but Kuiper has taken it to a new dimension with his Sexy burgers – vegan patties made mostly from sprouted seeds he first started selling at the Noordhoek market. I’ve seen the Sexy Food lads at the Oranjezicht City Farm selling complete kits – soil trays and flasks filled with sprouts.

I can highly recommend the sprout falafel, above the bunless burgers, but they are almost identical in ingredients. These include coconut flour, coconut oil, carrot, sweet potato, butternut, lentil sprouts, mung bean sprouts, chickpea sprouts, sunflower seed, flax seed, Himalayan crystal salt, parsley, coriander, ginger, oregano, cumin, basil, pepper and cinnamon. It is served with tomato salsa, green chilli, a macadamia dressing and avocado. You can get it as a nicely packaged takeaway, too.

The “flexitarian” 
Sexy Food states all its meals are free of gluten, dairy, soya, sugar and preservatives. Kuiper regards himself a “flexitarian”, meaning he is not dogmatic in his approach. I love his falafel and his buchu water, but we part ways when it comes to talk of detox or alkalising and body alkalinity, terms that are devoid of meaning. You’ll often overhear people in the “alternative food” set talk about cancer cures and antioxidants hoovering up free radicals and giving you longevity and curing cancer.

To cut a long story short, the only thing food and drink can change is the alkalinity of your urine, which you pass out the body. Your pancreas and body works hard to maintain the pH of your blood. To change the alkalinity of the blood or fluids in your cells would kill your healthy cells as fast as it would kill cancer cells, and you would know about it; you’d be very ill very quickly. But one thing I do not dispute – Kruiper’s Sexy Food is tasty and healthy. 

Sexy Food, Wellness Warehouse, Lifestyle Centre, Kloof Street, Cape Town

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman is a political novelist Primary Coloured, Reports Before Daybreak. He has been writing for the Mail & Guardian since 2003 about things that make life more enjoyable – the arts, literature and travel and in his Friday column, Once Bitten food. If comments on the internet are to be believed, he is a self-loathing white racist, an ultra-left counter-revolutionary, a neo-liberal communist capitalist, imperialist anarchist, and most proudly a bourgeois working-class lad. Or you can put the labels aside and read what he writes. Visit his website:

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

Hawkish Reserve Bank sees South Africa edge towards a rates...

Analysts say the Reserve Bank could start tightening monetary policy as early as next month

More top stories

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

Greenpeace investigation exposes countries trying to dilute climate report

Greenpeace team says it has obtained leaked records of countries asking scientists to water down upcoming scientific report on climate change

Zondo responds to Fraser’s objection to his nomination as chief...

The deputy chief justice said all the former spy boss had to do to respond to bombshell testimony implicating him in state capture was to apply for a turn to testify

Immunocompromised finally prioritised for Covid-19 booster shots

Organ recipients are at greater risk of death from Covid-19, while waiting lists for transplants grow

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…