Wednesday, July 26, 2006

From the source

As if being hot, bothered, and in desperate need of a holiday wasn't bad enough; today's news has Blair berating us for being fat and lazy. Nearly ready to dig our own grave, we are told. Obesity is threatening to be the largest global killer by the year 2020 says the UN. 'We know, we know' we cry out, and when in doubt we blame the U.S. We were all fit and healthy before Krispy Kreme came across.

And the incriminations don't stop there. Yesterday's Guardian told us that the much touted detox superstar, soya milk, is now deemed toxic. Sound preposterous? It gets worse, the evidence has been around for years- some 4000 odd apparently. Soya was made back in China but 'not to drink, except in times of famine'. It is linked to a host of nasty illnesses and diseases including male infertility. So put down those soya frappe lattes.

Enough horror stories of what we eat being not what we thought. Not that we really ever took much notice to the Daily Mail scare mongering until the Cadbury salmonella scandal broke. But now we have had enough. If we are going to get the next E-coli strain, we at least want to be able to trace it back to the source. No more nameless, faceless flirtations with our health anymore. Well, at least our gastronomical health.

Luckily in London we are well supplied with 12 Farmer's Markets, and it is them in particular that we are after. Borough, Spitalfields and Portobello Road are food markets, not farmer's markets. The difference is that farmer's markets don't allow middleman, it has to be the real deal. And that is more than we can say about some of Blair's supposed 'free' trade agreements.

And you thought you could just go around calling us fat and lazy. Right back at ya Tony.

For a full list of London's farmer's markets check out:

The Marylebone market is London's largest. It is centrally located and open Sundays from 10-2. Perfect for the trimmings to a Sunday roast when you had better things to shop for on Saturday. And if you get there and think this all too David Cameron eco-friendly, head to the Ginger Pig, around the corner at 8-10 Moxon Street, W1. Still not mass-market, and one of the most respected meat producers in England.

Oh, and Liam Gallagher was lurking around the Marylebone market last Sunday. To be expected really, he does have a pad around the corner. But we already knew that Marylebone was London's celeb Oasis.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear hear. And here's to Broadway Market, the bobo capital of Dalston.

But why are farmers' markets so expensive? I know they don't have economies of scale, but I suspect their margins are pretty big all the same. Anyone got any numbers to prove me wrong?

12:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max, if you do a price comparison you will see that they really aren't any more. It is a perception problem. Do a price check next time and tell me if I am wrong.

12:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree certainly any price difference would be the exception. I never realised that Borough was not the same as a true farmers market.
The Ginger Pig is awesome

1:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Broadway market is expensive but the farmers markets are usually below trade. There is a difference you know.

1:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CS, if you're becoming a nation of obese couch potatoes, why are you showing toadstools in the photo?

A little more consistency, please.

1:21 pm  
Blogger The very nice man said...

Funny thing is that the supermarkets are now charging you extra for food that is like . . like . . well like we used to get some years ago. I go with the markets and maybe we should get back to eating what is in season?!?! Good post and very well put! Thanks also for the list of markets! Very interesting.

3:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for list. Found on near me in Notting Hill that is not touristy Portobello. Fabulous for me I can escape the tourist groups this summer!

3:09 pm  
Blogger Scottish Princess said...

i love farmers market and i think Tony Blair is right to remind people of the dangers of obesity, coming from the states it is a big problem. great blog and makes me miss London , my old home town. keep informing us of everything!

3:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many people think buying from Portobello is virtuous. It is not. The farmers markets are the only ones that are truly real and they are a dying breed. Thanks to the govt which does little to help them. Like the argument and without the do gooder moral tone. Thanks CS.

3:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marylebone market is a good secret. Surprising how few non locals know about it given how wasy to get to it is.
Hope it stays well hidden despite today's blog.

4:16 pm  
Blogger The London Lifer said...

Broadway Market isn't that cheap but it does have fantastic cheese. And if Tony is so worried about us all being such lard arses why doesn't he do something about it - like banning soft drink commercials during kids programmes.

I'm not much of a one for interfering but as Morgan Spurlock pointed out any attempt to make people eat better is pretty much doomed to failure when billions of pounds are spent every year persuading us to heat the horror mulch that is marketed to us as food.

Still I can hardly talk. Last week I ate at 'The Taint'. I feel ashamed.

8:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The market map thing is very cool. You find it on the ebsite in teh drop down menu.

4:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going tomorrow morning Slicker to Marlylebone. Hope its good!

11:58 pm  
Blogger Allison Wonderland said...

I work for London Farmers' Markets (LFM) and am thrilled to see such support for the markets and the producers who trade at them. LFM has opened two new markets in the last month (Clapham and Turnham Green), so Londoners now have a choice of 14 markets in the city to shop at.

Anyone interested in being added to an email list for a particular market should send their details to

As to Max's comment re: farmers' markets being expensive, I propose this: if you went to clothing store to buy a shirt, and you met the person who designed and made the shirt, would you expect the shirt to cost the same as a shirt made in a sweatshop in Taiwan?

We need to support local people who produce our food by paying those few pence more here and there.

11:25 am  
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4:30 am  
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