Thank you for taking this journey with us, for keeping yourselves healthy and for helping us keep the earth healthy! We hope that every week you will look forward to your Munching Mongoose box with great excitement and anticipation! If you have any questions, hopefully you’ll find the answer here. If you still have unanswered questions, just drop us a mail info@munchingmongoose.co.za and we’ll get back to you!

GENERAL

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Organic, local, seasonal, sustainable, free-range, ethically-produced – what do they all mean?

We won’t bore you with definitions; essentially all of these phrases mean the same thing – the food we eat should be as natural as possible. This means no chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or other chemicals. The produce should be harvested from areas and climates where it would naturally occur and at the time of year when it is most nutritionally dense (it should not have to be flown around the world, and polished up to look pretty on a shelf). Animals should be allowed to move around as they would naturally, and eat what they are meant to eat. For example, cows should be free-range and mostly grass-fed. The entire cycle from planting to harvesting to packaging to consumption to disposal should provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting your health and natural resources.

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Are your products certified organic?

We source all our produce from farmers who farm according to natural, wholesome and organic principles – we would love to say that all our suppliers are certified organic, but unfortunately we can’t.

The reason is simple, many of our suppliers farm on far too small a scale to follow the strict rotation of plants and animals required, and so they can’t be certified organic – but, they do use organic products to care for their soil and each and every one of our suppliers was carefully chosen for being ethical and sustainable farmers who use natural, biological and organic farming principles! We have two very specific requirements for our farmers: no chemicals and no GMOs and if at least one of the words “ethical”, “sustainable” or “organic” doesn’t appear in their description, then we don’t use them!

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Do you support any charities?

We feel that helping others is a very important part of why we are on this planet. We therefore have a donation project in place for a wonderful orphanage called Abraham Kriel Children’s Home. We provide them with food boxes every month so that they too can enjoy healthy eating!

If you would like to do more, you also have the option to buy a box at the end of every month and have it donated to Abraham Kriel. If this interests you, send an email to donate@munchingmongoose.co.za and we will send you more info on how to get involved. As an added benefit, we can arrange for you to receive an annual tax certificate for your donation!

YOUR ACCOUNT - SIGN-UP, ORDERING AND PAYMENT

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How does this whole subscription thing work?

We know life is hectic. And fitting in grocery shopping can be stressful. We want to make your life as easy as possible, and that’s why we have a subscription based system. What this means is, every week on a Monday, we send you an email confirming your order for that week. Maybe you want to make some changes to your order that week, maybe change your box type, perhaps add an extra litre or two of milk, or, maybe you’re away that week, and you want to pause your order – all this can be done through The Market. But maybe you don’t want to make any changes to your order, that’s fine too. Our subscription system means that you will continue to receive your box of goodness, every week, or fortnight or month, unless you tell us otherwise, but you still have the flexibility to make changes, if you would like.

We automatically process payment every week, via our secure payment partner, and automatically send your delivery every week. The only thing you have to do is make sure someone is available to receive the delivery (and don’t worry we will give you an estimated time window for the delivery so you can plan your day). Easy. No hassles.

In addition, our subscription system is not a contract. If you decide you don’t want to use our service anymore, just cancel your subscription on your profile, or pop us an email and we’ll cancel it for you. No cancellation fees. No worries. (Just sad little mongooses to see you go!)

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How can I place an order?

New here? Sign up!

For more info on the sign-up process, click here. In order to deliver your box in any given week, you will need to have signed-up by 11am on the Tuesday.

If you are wary of just signing up for a product you have never tried before, sign-up as usual, and give us a try. If you still aren’t sold on our service, feel free to cancel your subscription the following week (before Tuesday at 11am, when orders are confirmed), either on your profile, or just pop us an email. No cancellation fees, no worries. Just keep in mind, that if you only use our service once, we will charge a collection fee of R50 (which will come off your initial deposit) for your empty box and bottles.

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How can I manage or change my order?

Our online system is there to give you control over your account and make it convenient for you to manage your orders and payments. You can change your box order, adjust your schedule, and manage the add-ons or featured products you would like. Just Login to your profile, and from there you can manage all your orders. You are able to change your regular box or bag from your home page, adjust your delivery schedule under My Account, or visit the shop to choose some add ons to enjoy for the week. You can also choose to add products as recurring items, which will then get delivered with your regular order on a recurring basis. 

Please note; you will only be able to change your standing order (your regular box or bag) between 11am on a Monday and 11am on a Tuesday (when the market is open), thereafter, orders are locked-in for any given week. You can shop for add ons at anytime of the week, however, if you make changes after 11am on a Tuesday, those changes will only reflect the following week. If you are happy to just continue to receive your deliveries on a standard schedule (weekly, fortnightly etc.) and enjoy the surprise element of the service (and don’t want any extra tasty goodies), then you will not need to log on or even do anything, just sit back and receive your goodness from us.

However, we are not robots, and we are happy to chat! So if you are unsure about anything, or aren’t able to access your account to make changes, just give us a call, or drop us an email!

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How can I update my details, such as change my address?

You can manage all your personal details from your online profile. Login to your profile and you will have access to your account (menu in top right of the screen on your profile home page). From here you can update any contact details, phone numbers, email addresses, physical address for delivery as well as your billing information (if you would prefer that your husband or wife pay for the weekly delivery instead of you…) etc.

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What if I’m away for a week or two? Can I pause my deliveries?

If you have signed up, and you are going away or want to try a different box option, it’s all easy! You can pause your subscription or change your options, anytime before Tuesday at 11am, on your profile. Orders can be scheduled for weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You can even manage your schedule up to 12 weeks in advance. So if you know you are going to be away for holiday or a business trip in the future, no worries you can pause that week’s delivery now. This is also accessed from the “My Account” menu on the top right of your screen when logged in.

If you haven’t let us know by 11am on the Tuesday of the week in question, then we will have already ordered all of the goodies for your box and payment will have been processed – in that case, we don’t waste the box, we donate it to one of our charities and get you a tax certificate for the donation.

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How can I cancel my order?

Our subscription service is not a contract. If you decide you don’t want to use our service anymore (we will be really sad), but just cancel your subscription on your profile, or pop us an email and we’ll cancel it for you. No cancellation fees. No worries. On your profile, go to “Account settings”. This will open a new page where you will see that you have the option to cancel your subscription. There is also a link at the bottom of your “Schedule” page that will take you to the cancellation page.

If you are looking to cancel your account, we’d really appreciate knowing why. If it’s something we can improve on, please let us know!

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What is the deposit for?

With your first order, we will require a fully-refundable deposit of R250 to cover your empty crate and glass bottles – this is just in case anything gets broken, damaged or lost.

In the inexplicable event that you ever decide to stop enjoying the goodness that The Munching Mongoose has to offer – the only possible reason we can think of is that you’re leaving town – you can just return the empty crate and bottles to us in their original condition, and we return your deposit. Just keep in mind, that if you only use our service once, we will charge a collection fee of R50 (which will come off your initial deposit) for your empty box and bottles. Or, if you love your box and bottles as much as we do, you get to keep them and we just use your deposit to buy some more.

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How do I pay?

All of our options work on a subscription basis, payable on a weekly basis.

When you sign-up, you complete your credit card details. Every week, we automatically process the cost of your bag or box, as well as any of our delicious add ons that you have chosen to enjoy. Please note, payment only goes off if you have scheduled a delivery for that week.

Please note, we do not store any of your credit card details on our site nor do we have access to them (we can’t even see them). All your payments are processed through PayFast, a fully secure payment gateway, and one of SA’s leading online payment platforms.  

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Can I do a trial?

If you are wary of just signing up for a product you have never tried before, sign-up as usual, and give us a try. If you still aren’t sold on our service, feel free to cancel your subscription the following week (before Tuesday at 11am, when orders are confirmed), either on your profile, or just pop us an email. No cancellation fees, no worries. Just keep in mind, that if you only use our service once, we will charge a collection fee of R50 (which will come off your initial deposit) for your empty box and bottles.

DELIVERY

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Where and when do you deliver?

We currently deliver in and around Johannesburg – Check our Delivery Map to see the areas we deliver to. All our deliveries happen on a Thursday and Friday, depending on your area. We will always send you an email with details of when you can expect delivery. 

Please also note that you can add specific delivery instructions to your profile that we will see every week – Maybe a permanent access code for your estate, or some instructions about a broken intercom. Please also add an additional contact number to these instructions so that we can ensure we make your delivery without any hiccups.

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You don’t currently deliver to my area, are you going to expand your delivery zone?

If you can’t find your suburb on our delivery map, then unfortunately we don’t deliver there just yet. However, we are a growing company, so send us a mail, and we’ll add you to our waiting list, so that when we do start delivering in your area, you’ll be the first to know about it.

OUR PACKAGING

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Is your packaging bio-degradeable?

Because we love our planet, one of our main focus areas is sustainability and the impact on our environment. We therefore spent a lot of time and energy on finding packaging that is ethical and sustainable.

Our crates are from reclaimed wood and are hand-made by local craftsmen. The paint is water based, lead free, low VOC and 70% organic. The sealer is water based, lead free and low VOC! Our milk mostly comes in glass bottles, and only comes in plastic when requested (for easy freezing). We purposely re-use our crates and bottles in order to minimise our carbon footprint as much as possible.

Our Mini Bags and No-Veg Bags come packaged in natural hessian bags, made from natural organic hessian right here in South Africa. Safe for you and for the environment. If you are part of our office delivery scheme you can also opt to have the bigger boxes delivered in bags so that it is easier for you to get your produce home.

All of our brown paper packets are sourced from Vegware SA. Vegware supply completely compostable food packaging – both their paper and plastic products are 100% biodegradable!

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Why does some produce come in plastic and non-recyclable packaging?

Where possible, we always try and supply produce in reusable, recyclable or compostable materials, and we are constantly working with our suppliers to ensure this happens. However, some of our fruit and veg does come already packaged – and sometimes that packaging includes plastic and polystyrene.

This isn’t ideal but it is unfortunately unavoidable due to a number of reasons. Our first priority is making sure you get delicious, good quality, farm-fresh produce. Some veg just can’t be piled in a crate without packaging, it is too soft and sensitive and if it is sent out in bulk without being protected it will end up too badly damaged. The other reason is that farms that are certified organic have to abide by certain packaging regulations (crazy, but true). And the farmers that did investigate Vegware as an alternative discovered that although they do have wonderful compostable packaging, it is imported. This means that they have to choose between the effect on the environment from local plastic and polystyrene or the effect on the environment from burning the huge amount of fuel required to get the more green packaging to them. Vegware are looking at producing their own, locally-made biodegradable plastic packaging and as soon as they get that right, the whole packaging process can be re-evaluated!

WHAT'S IN THE BOX? (GENERAL QUESTIONS)

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Where do all your products come from?

We source all our produce from farmers who farm according to natural, wholesome and organic principles.

Our milk is sourced from a family-run farm, with happy, healthy cows who are grass-fed and free-range.

Our eggs are sourced from free-range suppliers only. The chickens forage for the majority of their diet and are only fed grain when necessary. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to source organic grain in SA. So our eggs cannot be strictly classed as organic but they can definitely be said to be natural and nutritious!

Our bread is sourced from artisan bakers who use the Eureka Mills flour. Eureka Mills get their flour from farmers who use biological, sustainable principles and non-GMO wheat – they use crop-rotation and have a no-till system, so they harvest by hand. The wheat is then stone-ground using three rollers instead of the 14 steel rollers used by commercial mills – it takes longer, but it is more natural and much kinder on the environment! No components are abstracted from the flour and the flour does not get bleached. Eureka Mills flour retains all its healthy wheat germ, fibre, natural oils, vitamins and enzymes making it wholesome and nutritious and contributing to its shelf-life! This marvellous flour is then bought by our local supplier who works their magic and produces amazing artisan breads for us – baked by hand in good old-fashioned wood ovens for extra tastiness.

Our cheese comes from a local distributer, who’s mission is to grow the South African small cheese producers market, by giving them a platform to compete. All produce is colouring and hormone free, no stabilizers or flavour additives – so as pure as possible. Our cheeses are tasty and produced with old fashioned values – time and respect of the ingredients.

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Can I choose what to put in my box?

We believe in eating seasonally, locally, organically farmed food, and what this means is that nature has a big say in what we get. Organic produce is at the mercy of the seasons, the weather and from time-to-time, the insect world. Because of this, we cannot guarantee the specific fruit & veg that will appear in your box every week, we can only promise that you will get the value that you have paid for! There is also always more veg than fruit on offer, this is because it is much easier to organically farm vegetables than it is to organically farm fruit – especially in the Highveld. We are constantly on the lookout for new suppliers and more options and when we can get organic fresh fruit we add it to the box immediately! We do however let you know on a Monday what will be coming in your box that week, and you have the opportunity to log on before the weekly cut off time and from time to time will be able to swap certain items for something different.

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Can I choose what meat I want when I order a meat pack?

We have worked hard in conjunction with our partner butchers to come up with various meat pack options. Ultimately we want to make life easy for you so that you don’t have to remember to pick and choose – we have done that for you. There is a wide selection of packs and the volume as well as contents vary, so there should be more than enough variety to keep you interested and coming back for more. This model that we have chosen assists in the ordering and supply chain management for the butcher to plan and control the supply from the farms.

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What are the surprise products, and where do they come from?

Every week we find a unique and fun product for you to try. They are all sourced from local farmers and small businesses and we make every effort to ensure that they have used fresh and organic produce to make their product! We will include a little explanation of each product in the weekly box, but if you ever want to know something just give us a holler!

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I want to re-order a surprise product, how can I do this?

If there’s a surprise product that you absolutely love, let us know, and we can try to provide it on a regular basis! You can also keep an eye out on our website and your weekly order email for “Weekly Featured Items”. We will be including products that have been popular as surprises and you can order more then.

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Do you cater for people with allergies or dietary requirements?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that our produce is allergen-free. Our produce is sourced from a wide variety of suppliers, and there will be cases where it has come into contact with nuts or peanuts, or something else that can cause an allergic reaction. If you do have any type of food allergy, it is recommended that you rather don’t take a chance on our product – we want to make people healthier, not cause them harm!!

If there is a specific fruit or vegetable that you really don’t like, please let us know – we do our best to make sure that you don’t get items you don’t like or can’t have in your box. We can’t guarantee that we will get it right every time but we do try.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX (SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AROUND THE FOOD)

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My fruit/ veg doesn’t look like what I get in the shops! Why?

Our organic veg does not always look as “perfect” as it’s store-bought counterpart – it is possible that one or two of your veggies may have been a little battered by the elements, this means that there could be one or two brown marks or shape defects. These will not affect that taste or nutrition of your veggie – just chop the brown bits away and cook as per usual!

If, to our shame, you do find a completely unacceptable fruit or vegetable in your box please take a photo of the offensive item with your mobile phone and send it to us as soon as possible, either as an MMS or whatsapp to 076 315 5451, or as an email to info@munchingmongoose.co.za – we need to know so that we can make it up to you!

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I got something in my box that I don’t know what to do with, can you help?

If there is ANYTHING in your box that you don’t know what to do with, visit our Recipe Box for a growing directory of easy recipes, or just pop us a mail and we’ll send you cooking tips or recipes!

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My produce has gone off very quickly, why?

Our fruit and veg has not been genetically modified for a longer shelf-life – that being said, a lot of the original heirloom varieties are a lot stronger than you think! Some of them will outlive their store-bought counterparts in your fridge – some of them, sadly, will not – but they make up for it in nutrition and taste!

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My milk has gone off very quickly, why?

Modern, commercial milk is pasteurised. Pasteurization is the process of heating the raw milk to decrease bacteria and increase shelf-life. There are two methods: high-temperature for a short-time and then ultra-heat for longer time. The ultra-heat method extends milk’s shelf-life the most, and is therefore favoured by commercial milk producers, but it also ends up destroying valuable enzymes, vitamins and minerals. In fact, commercial milk often has to have vitamins and minerals added BACK to it after the pasteurisation process – and these vitamins and minerals are not in their natural form, they are chemically synthesised and have been added to replace the natural ones that were killed during the pasteurization process! Without real, natural vitamin D your body struggles to absorb and use the calcium in milk, making it far less valuable! If the milk has had its fat removed during pasteurisation (skim or 2% milk) then it may have non-fat dry milk or milk solids added to it to create a more desirable consistency. These forms of dry milk are high in free glutamic acids (MSG) and oxidised cholesterol.

The best and healthiest choice is raw, non-pasteurised, non-homogenised milk from traditional breeds. However, since we cannot completely control the process at the dairy – we have chosen pasteurised, non-homogenised milk from traditional breeds – our milk has been pasteurised using the high-temp-short-time method that will kill harmful bacteria but not completely destroy all the good stuff!

As such, our milk has a shelf-life of 4-5 days and must be kept in the fridge. Please shake well before use, it may look a bit different to what you’re used to, but we guarantee it will taste delicious!

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My milk has a layer on top – is this normal?

Modern, commercial milk is homogenised. This is the process of mixing massive amounts of harvested milk from several different herds and mechanically forcing the milk at high pressure through tiny holes – this is to create a more consistent texture to the milk. Raw un-homogenised milk naturally separates into different layers of fat density, which means it’s not as pretty to look at as homogenised milk. However, all you need to do is shake the bottle well before use and you get milk that looks more like what you are used to!

Back in the days when the milkman still delivered to your door, no milk was homogenised – this meant that you could make your own skim milk: all you had to do was skim the cream off the top of the milk before shaking the bottle – that way you get tasty natural cream and fat-free milk! Since homogenisation is a mechanical process it does not affect the nutritional content of the milk, but there is some debate as to whether the forced change to the fat globule surface area could be the cause of milk-related allergies. What we know for certain is that milk does not need to be homogenised in order to be nutritious or safe!

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My egg yolks are a funny colour, why?

If you have purchased proper fresh, farm-raised, free-range eggs before now you may have encountered the different intensities in the colour of the yolk. If you have not experienced it before, it may come as quite a shock! The colour can range from strong and vibrant to slightly pale. This colour is caused by one thing: diet. So we may from time-to-time supply you with eggs that suddenly have pale yolks instead of the vibrant yellow – you do not need to worry, they are always fresh and healthy! It just means that the farmer had to supplement the chickens’ diet with grain that week! Once you have had these fresh, free-range eggs you will never again enjoy the often old eggs you get in your local supermarket, and you definitely won’t worry what colour the yolk is!

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How fresh are your eggs?

Unlike store-bought eggs that are kept in cold storage to give them longevity, our eggs are never more than two weeks old. You can test their freshness quite easily – drop (carefully)  the unbroken egg into a bowl of water, it should sink like a stone. If it bobs to halfway then its still ok, but near the end of its safe-to-eat period and if it floats then don’t even open it! Another test is when you crack the egg into a pan or bowl, the yolk should stay intact – if it breaks or spreads, then the egg is old! Please let us know immediately if your eggs are old or smelly. It does occasionally happen that the eggs are harvested from older nests by mistake – these happenings are rare, but if you get old eggs, please just let us know and we will notify our suppliers that they need to check their nest harvest rotations!

You do not need to store your eggs in the fridge to keep them fresh.  In America, eggs are sprayed with high-power hoses to clean them. When eggs are sprayed with water, their porous shells allow any bacteria on the outside to wash into the inside. This means that these commercially cleaned eggs have a higher chance of incubating salmonella and therefore they have to be stored in the  fridge to prevent the growth of the bacteria. In South Africa, all of our eggs (commercial and homestead) are rubbed clean only, so they might occasionally have a bit more nature on them than you would like – but it means that they are safe and healthy to eat and can be stored outside the fridge for up to a month!

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I’m unhappy with some of the produce, what can I do?

If, to our shame, you do find a completely unacceptable item in your box please take a photo of the offensive item with your mobile phone and send it to us as soon as possible, either as an MMS or whatsapp to 076 315 5451, or as an email to info@munchingmongoose.co.za – we need to know so that we can make it up to you!

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I’m not going to eat my bread immediately, how can I keep it fresh?

None of our bakers use preservatives in their bread, so if you know you are not going to gobble up the bread in the first two days, cut it into manageable portions, wrap them tight and freeze them. If you sprinkle the frozen bread with a little bit of water and defrost it in a low oven, it will be as good as new!