Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sustainable Food : Farmer's Markets

Abby at the Bellingham Farmer's Market
In my efforts to Paleo, one of the major contributions to keep me Paleo is the sustainability component. For me I can not be passionate about my food (and trust me, I'm passionate about my food, being an elite athlete in a weight restricted sport, that can only eat a few calories so they better be top quality) without thinking about the food politics. In the very search for 'where does my food come from', when you are looking to buy organic, local, grass-fed, free-range, animal-anti-cruelty you are bound to find a stop at some unpleasant cage.

In going to a few farmers markets, at the University district in Seattle, or in Spain on a local Wednesday plain, or even at a boeremark here in South Africa, I find them truly fun and inspiring. To meet and great the owners and sellers behind their stand and have the opportunity to share community with them really brings out an Ubuntu spirit, that human connectedness, made famous as a motto in South Africa - "I exist because of you".

But with these markets, I have come to a few conclusions that I had to accept.
1. I'm not 'saving money' or getting a bargain deal. The prices are usually fair, but not cheap. This isn't Costo, Makro, or some supermarket with great value deals for more and more. Just one really good strawberry from the market, is worth more than a box of GMO big, fat, tasteless ones from Mexico.
2. What I am getting is an experience, like going to a show or seeing a concert (and I would pay for those things). So I make the day of going to these markets, and I'm not rushing in and out.
3. By paying more, I see it as paying into the earth or donating to a good cause. When I read about the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, or the Jamie Oliver foundation or anything Oprah does, I wish I had the millions to follow in these philanthropic endevours. However if I pay more to these markets, I know in my way, I'm doing what I can.
4. I'm ok if these guys are not certified organic. I believe the certified organic is sometimes another marketing ploy. I know I heard it mentioned in the movie Food Inc, something about Bush administration and just more admin money paid to be certified. I would rather the farmers keep that admin money and use it to be more sustainable.

Wednesday Market in the square in Banyoles, Spain

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