When I’m in a city that’s new to me, I try to go to the central market very early in my trip. I’ll go at 6 a.m., when people are shopping for businesses. You get to see what people buy and really eat. – Anthony Bourdain
Food markets are not the usual high on many tourists list of places to visit when traveling. But there are travelers who, either by design or happenstance, experience what farmers markets in cities they visit have to offer. Street or central markets are the best places to find fresh and affordable produce and a wide array of food that let you get the taste of the locals’ way of life. Here are some of the world’s best markets to visit worth adding to your travel bucket list.
Borough Market, London, England
Why go there: Oldest food market in London dating back to 1755, fresh market, locally-grown produce, wide range of delightful food for wholesale buyers and foodies alike, freshly made breads, hand-made cheeses
Castries Market, Castries, St. Lucia
Why go there: Dates back to 1894, a great place to find island spices like cinnamon, mace, and star anise; fresh tropical fruits and other produce, delicious dishes to try
Cours Saleya, Nice, France
Why go there: Flower and food market, a wide selection of locally grown and made products, walking distance from the sea, delicious croissants and sausages, several cafes and restaurants nearby
Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, San Francisco, USA
Why go there: Locally produced and organic food, fresh fruits, delicious breads and jams, artisan chocolates
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Why go there: A massive place to find an extensive list of items that include local crafts, jewelries, rugs; delectable culinary treats such as the must-try Turkish delight, a wide selection of other Turkish snacks and food
Kauppatori, Helsinki, Finland
Why go there: Waterside market that offers a wide array of traditional Finnish treats, popular foods to try include salami (bear, moose, or reindeer), pickled herring, smoked salmon, chocolates, and more
Or Tor Kor Market, Bangkok, Thailand
Why go there: Fresh fruits and other locally grown produce, seafood, curry pastes and spices, delightful treats, Thai dishes
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada
Why go there: Farmers market that dates back to 1803, locally grown and seasonal organic produce, an extensive selection of fresh food and other food items
Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan
Why go there: World’s largest wholesale fish and seafood market, one of the city’s top attractions, popular among locals and tourists, several shops outside where visitors can enjoy scrumptious meals of sushi, sashimi, and more
Union Square Greenmarket, New York City, USA
Why go there: Outdoor market that offers a wide array of produce delivered straight from the farm, a wide array of cheeses and other items to choose from
Ver-o-Peso, Belém, Brazil
Why go there: Busy marketplace that sell fresh fishes and other seafood, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious food and treats to try
Whether you’re buying from a grocery store or you’re purchasing from a farmer’s market, nothing beats local products.
The reasons for this are quite simple.
Here are some of them:
- Local products are healthier. Compared to store products that are usually filled with preservatives, local products are filled with natural ingredients – including freshly harvested vegetables and freshly picked fruits, as well as garden-fresh additives. Compared also to store products that are usually filled with chemicals, local products are filled with minerals – including calcium and zinc, as well as potassium and iron.
- Local products are more affordable. Compared to store products that are usually priced more than others, local products are priced reasonably – making it easier for local people to completely sell out. Compared also to store products that are usually priced with hidden charges, local products are priced fairly – making it easier for other people to trust both the local people and the local products.
- Local products are more trusted. Compared to store products made in factories that only specific people can access, local products are made in farms that everyone can access – making it easier for local people to be trusted in terms of authenticity. Compared also to store products made in factories where only specific people can observe the actual processes, local products are made in farms where everyone can observe the actual processes – making it easier for other people to trust the local products in terms of quality.
- Local products are more helpful. It’s not just about helping other people to become healthier, as well as helping other people to save more effectively. It’s about helping the local people reach out to everyone with their products, as well as helping the local products get recognized by everyone with their people. It’s even about helping everyone realize the importance of having a sustainable environment, as well as realize the significance of having a stable economy.
Start buying local (recommended: Stanislaus Farm Supply Merced), instead of buying store!
Green living may seem like a big goal, especially when you are looking at the range of environment-related issues that need to be addressed. But if you think that your small contribution hardly matters, think again! Going green is not just a trend that should be allowed to die down. The path towards sustainability does not have to be complicated. Sometimes, all it takes are the small steps that will get you started.
Invest on energy-efficient products. Make an inventory of your household appliances and lighting. You do not have to make all the changes you may need at once. But investing on one appliance or lighting at a time can go a long way in cutting back your energy usage in the long run.
Evaluate household habits. An important aspect of learning how to go green at home is to reevaluate your habits. You may be used to having water running out of the faucet the whole time you are brushing your teeth. You may also be excessively using water for cleaning and other household activities. Reevaluate how you use resources such as water and electricity and make changes to reduce wastage.
Grow your own food. Even without a big space for an edibles patch or garden, you can still grow some of the food you put on the table. There are many types of vegetables and herbs you can cultivate in containers, which do not require much space.
Buy local. Purchase more locally grown food. Farmers markets are great places to find fresh produce straight from the farm. You can also opt for seasonal local fruits and vegetables instead of buying food products that have traveled thousands of miles to reach you.
Give meatless days a try. Eating less meat is one of the many ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint. You do not have to commit to a vegetarian lifestyle at the get-go. But you can try setting one day every week as a meatless day.
Buy less, reuse, and recycle. Minimizing the number of things you own not only makes it easier to keep your home organized. It is also a great way to avoid clutter. You do not have to throw a lot of things away if you do not have many belongings to begin with. You can also implement recycling and reusing at your home and educate other household members on how to do it.