24 July 2016: ‘old’ supermarket food versus fresh market produce

Tom Rawstorne writes in the UK Daily Mail about the age of food sold in UK supermarkets – apples can be up to 12 months old, fish can be up to two years old, fresh salad and vegetables can be up to 3 weeks old. This all comes down to new and improved technologies that chill, store and treat fresh food to extend its life. The article  discusses  how much nutritional quality is retained through these technologies and treatments. Such revelations can only boost the case for shopping for fresh food on markets.

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1 June 2016: produce on Sesimbra market, Portugal

Sesimbra’s covered market offers a great mix of fresh fruit and vegetables, local breads, groceries and lots of fish straight from the harbour. It’s right in the centre of town. The traders are friendly, the building is  clean and simple, and shopping is a pleasure.

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29 May 2016: Mercado de la Brexta, San Sebastian

The outdoor stalls outside the Mercado de la Brexta in San Sebastian, Spain were doing lively trade on Saturday. The produce and flowers looked great in the sun!

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23 May 2016: London borough installs solar panels over marketplace

The London borough of Hounslow has installed 6000 solar panels over the rooftop of Western International wholesale market – it is the biggest solar scheme by any local authority – and has the added advantage of storing energy in batteries on-site.

You can read more – and see a photograph – here


6 December 2015 – training US small farmers to up-scale

Civil Eats has an interesting article, written by Kristine Wong, on a US training programme run by  Family Farmed . It aims to help small farmers break into larger wholesale markets. The training revolves around US food safety certification, such as Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices and is supported by a manual called ‘Wholesale Success’.  The struggle to meet exacting food safety and hygiene requirements by small farmers and producers also applies in Europe, and this seems like a worthwhile initiative that could be worth a look.

You can read the article and find out more here: http://civileats.com/2015/12/03/training-farmers-to-be-better-business-people/


2 May 2015 – The Final Mile: Food systems of New York

The Final Mile: Food Systems of New York is a new initiative by OpenHouse and is a year-long series of public programs,  intended to shed light on New York City’s dynamic and multi-layered food economy. The series of tours and events aim to help New Yorkers  better understand how food shapes the city in critical ways that all too often go unnoticed.

There is a good introduction on the blog which talks about how  ‘every plate of food that we eat represents a vast network of interconnected spaces, large and small, that facilitated the flow and preparation of the ingredients of that meal‘. It provides some staggering statistics about the city, including 24,000 restaurants, 5,500 supermarkets, groceries and convenience stores; 1,730 food wholesalers and 120 farmers’ markets.

The city’s largest produce market (Hunts Point) handles 210 million packages of fresh fruit and vegetables each year and the fish market (New Fulton) sells millions of seafood daily and annual sales exceed one billion dollars.

Why the Final Mile? This is what the blog says:

The final mile is a phrase borrowed from the telecommunications industry to describe the challenges of distributing goods and services—in this case, food—from a central hub to multiple end-users. It is commonly understood as the most problematic and expensive leg of any supply chain; whether literal or metaphorical, the last “mile” is the most difficult because it is where the system makes its final transition from the large scale to the finely grained. The average journey for food sold in New York City is 1,500 miles, because it is actually easier to ship ten tons of produce around the world than it is to get a banana from the warehouse to the bodega shelf.

You can read more about it here


14 December 2014 – US views of ten fantastic food markets around the world

The US non-profit organisation Food Tank – described on its website as ‘ an independent voice seeking sustainable solutions for our broken food system’- has a posting about ten fantastic food markets around the world. You can see the list and read the post here