About the Market Day blog

I am Julie Smith and I have started this blog because I research traditional food markets – by that, I mean public, retail or general markets that sell fresh food in cities around the world. I have called them ‘traditional’ as a way of contrasting the way fresh food reaches these markets with ‘modernized’ supermarket systems. My blog is about how traditional food markets remain central locations in cities – if you like, they are a location where food and cultures collide; they are about more than ‘doing the shopping’. The blog records cultural change and how traditional food markets are, on the one hand, threatened by global, industrial supermarket systems and, on the other, able to adapt and innovate as they have done since cities first came into existence.

It’s also about the future – as governments at every level wrestle with issues connected to food security and food planning, what are the implications for urban design and the shape of our future food systems and also, what are the implications for food and identity in urban contexts ? I aim to record some of the ways that traditional food markets have adjusted and adapted to these changes. I ask the question – can you see a city through its markets and their neighbourhoods.

So my research, and this blog, is about the everyday life of the local food market and its particular relationship with the global city. I’m focussing on its contemporary role in fresh food provisioning and the effects of place. How does where each market is located shape the buying and selling of fresh food – and how do these processes transform this food into the special ‘market produce’?

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