Food security: The optimal diet for people and the planet

South African Medical Journal, November 2013, Vol. 103, No. 11 

One morning, in the winter of 2010, I walked into the
home of a family living outside Mbabane, Swaziland.
There were three young children sitting at the table,
aged about six or seven. The table was covered with a
plastic tablecloth with really loud fruit printed on it,
but there wasn’t any fruit in the kitchen. In fact, there wasn’t any food
in the kitchen at all.


Spinning straw men: when science writing goes wrong

Rhodes Journalism Review, #27

Media have been complicit in spreading dissident views around climate change, a movement which has set global efforts to address the problem back by two decades. Leonie Joubert, author of Scorched: South Africa’s changing climate, considers whether all facts should be considered equal.

When deadlines don't loom

Rhodes Journalism Review, #29 

Writing a book in tandem with practiSing journalism is a bit like training for an ultra-marathon in 100m bursts, writes Leonie Joubert


The media, the state, and South Africa's constitutional right to food. 

An ‘occasional paper’ published by the University of Cape Town’s Centre of Criminology, November 2013. 

The media’s role as the fourth estate is to ensure the country’s adherence to the Bill of Rights that are written into Chapter Two of the South African Constitution. Newsrooms apply this principle to upholding democratic political processes and holding government to account. Included in this is the fact that the Constitution specifically refers to citizens’ right to food. The media in South Africa needs to understand the broader complexity of the food value chain if it is to hold the government accountable in terms of how the state gives effect to the right of its citizens to food.

South Africa's changing climate

Current Allergy and Clinical Immunology, for the Allergy Society of South Africa, June 2011

South Africa’s weather records over the past six decades indicate that the region’s climate is shifting. This is evident in small but statistically significant temperature increases in the past half-century. Changes in rainfall patterns are less clear. Nevertheless, responses from the natural environment confirm that conditions are changing, and that these reflect trends elsewhere in the world.