Saturday, 26 April 2014

Celebrating autumn - and why I shop at markets

The pith, the nutshell, whatever edible euphemism you like - I shop at markets because:

  • I hate what corporatism is doing to nations and peoples. 
  • I despise marketing, which maintains the above.
  • I will not buy junk, and so most shops (supermarkets and retailers generally) do not acknowledge me as they have nothing worthwhile on offer.
  • I despair at the cult of the lowest common denominator.
  • I refuse to buy imported produce. Having grown up in England, I appreciate Australia as a primary producer par excellence, and it is criminal to eschew home-grown food for something laden with food miles.
  • My tastebuds are still very much intact.
  • As a full-time student in the midst of a career change, I have a risibly tight food budget. That story on News Ltd's website about sticking to a $35 weekly food budget? Luxury!
I shop opportunistically. I trawl the Vic Market close to closing time at the weekends, and I make good use of the slightly tired (but perfect for my purposes) half-price produce at places like Wholefoods. In spite of monetary constraints, I manage to eat a fair bit of organic produce. 

I shop seasonally. Boxes of mangos, trays of tomatoes in the summer. Bags of apples, magnificent heads of cabbage in the winter. 

I have a fridge full of pickles from when I got proper gherkins for $2. My mother's larder has the jam I made with the last of the summer apricots. 

Today yielded quinces for $1 a kilo, to be slowly roasted with wattle seed as an accompaniment to homemade bread, coconut yogurt, muesli. 

Best of all, a bag of pine mushrooms for a hysterically trifling $2. To be devoured, by me, in an act of greed justified by the grim weather and my last hurrah before I am off to the back of beyond to finish my rural GP placement (in a town surrounded by farms, but with no greengrocer, and where pickup trucks line up every night outside the fast food outlets - proof this country has a completely warped attitude towards food).

2 comments:

Felicia said...

What a great and insightful post! I am also a uni student who wants to seasonally and well but with budget constraints so I also shop at markets near closing time, footscray market is also a pretty good place for deals. Which wholefoods do you go for half price produce as I am always on the hunt for organic produce that won't break the bank. Thank you! :)

Eat to Live said...

Footscray market's pretty good, but not close to me so I don't get a chance to go as often as I'd like!

I go to the Wholefoods in Fitzroy and Brunswick East (www.wholefoods.com.au). They are opening a new store in Flemington soon, which might be convenient.

Terra Madre is also amazing :)