Archive for October 7th, 2010

Farmers Markets and Inexpensive Food

The city of Saint Paul, like a lot of other good-sized cities, has a farmer’s market. Actually, quite a number of them, which is both a blessing and a curse.

The big and heavily promoted ones are downtown, on Saturday and Sunday mornings. They’ve been completely co-opted by a combination of yuppies and special-interest lobbyists, with the net result that everything sold there is locally-grown (within forty or fifty miles, or somesuch) and organic. And, because it’s all local and organic, all the yuppies come, so everything is priced accordingly, i.e. expensive. Also, the quality is frequently frankly crap, probably because of the yuppies, again. (Surely anyone gullible enough to spend fifty cents on a tomato will spend fifty cents on a b-grade tomato, right?)

To my mind – because I don’t really care about whether something is a certified organic heirloom strain – that sort of defeats the whole point of having a farmer’s market, which I always thought used to be to get reasonably fresh food reasonably cheap.

Thankfully, there are other, lesser-known, mostly yuppie-free farmer’s markets around town, usually on weekdays. There are no restrictions at most of these as to whether food is certified organic or not, or grown within so many miles; most of the vendors tend to be southeast asian, either families who farm a couple of acres out in the suburbs, or folks who buy stuff from local produce wholesalers and sell it in usable quantities at ridiculously modest markups.
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Published in: General | on October 7th, 2010 | 2 Comments »