the ritual of the weekly market

The thought of another Christmas of  cheap sausage rolls, Quality Street all washed down by a bucket of Shloer is turning my stomach.
We eat so much crap this time of the year and it is all excused by it being Christmas.

I was pondering my unhealthy eating habits this morning when I realised something. A week of unhealthy eating in our household usually begins when we don’t make it into St George’s Market on a Saturday morning. Let me back up firstly by saying that a trip to St George’s doesn’t mean that we’ll be eating tofu and raw cabbage, not by any stretch of the imagination.

But  a weekly trip to the market does recreate a ritual in our house,
a ritual in which food is treated with respect at the very start
which means that the whole process of preparing food
and then eating is likely to be treated with respect.
Or healthy eating.

And by the same token even though the market may well work out a bit more expensive that the supermarket (although I haven’t noticed that to be honest ) because you have more joy and pleasure in shopping for your food you are much less likely to waste the food you buy or ponder more what you are buying.
If you pick up  cabbage from the farmer who is obviously proud of the cabbage he has grown and nurtured you are much less likely to waste it when you take it home.
At  moment I have two cabbages in the fridge that need used, a white cabbage from LIDL and an Autumn King grown by the man who sold it to me. I know which one I want to do justice too. The ritual of the market.

In the past couple of weeks I have been unable to get into St George’s and as a result we’ve been grabbing bits and bobs from our local Spar which in all honesty is nothing but a branded sweet shop.

Perhaps the unhealthy eating is all tied into the place you buy it from, or partly so.
If  the place is branded and disposable with the people working there programmed to sell commodified goods,
if the there is no easily recognised story behind the food you’re buying so that you can understand it and respect it
then you will bring it home and carry on the story of the food which is no story, or a story you don’t really care about.

Maybe the government can try all the healthy eating initiatives it wants to but if we’re forced to buy our food in unhealthy places such as the homogenized supermarkets that surround your town then what else do you expect?

If we don’t know the story of what it cost to get our potatoes or apples to our kitchen,
if they’re just phantoms that appeared overnight on a Tesco lorry in a plastic tray and are set on display the next day
then people are never going to treat the food with respect.

With the market we’re much more likely to hear the story of our food, or getting closer to the person who grew our apples or knows the farmer who supplies the pigs and do justice to food when we get home.

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