It is a sunny Saturday morning, we’ve just arrived at the local market, bags in one hand and shopping lists in the other. We wander between the market stalls taking in all of the vibrant colours of fresh fruits and vegetables on display. Seeing the familiar faces of the vendors we usually buy from, pumpkin and tomatoes from one stall, ripe avocados and bananas from another, picking out the freshest ingredients we can find.
Here at IMR, we are really fortunate to have a plentiful market only a couple of kilometres away full of delicious and high quality produce. So, we thought we would share some of the reasons that we choose to shop local:
As you walk around the markets, all the fresh fruit and vegetables are laid out in the stalls, with no unnecessary packaging. This is a big contrast to the bigger supermarkets here, where most of the fresh produce is wrapped in layer upon layer of unnecessary plastic. The difference is a no brainer. To make sure you really can shop plastic free, just grab a couple of reusable bags to take with you and politely ask the market vendors to fill them up once they’ve weighed up your yummy purchases.
Supporting the Local Community
Buying at the local markets supports the local economy. Street vendors rely on local custom to sustain their businesses; therefore, market vendors care that they sell you good quality produce as you’re more likely to come back for more. This means if you ask them which items, such as bananas, mangos or avocados, are good, they’ll usually pick out the best they have on offer.
Fresh Produce is Generally Cheaper
It is no question here that the local markets here are cheap. You can grab a selection of fruit and vegetables to last you a week for about 300 pesos (roughly 6 usd). This isn’t surprising when a large bunch of spinach costs as little as 10 pesos.
Reduce Food Miles
Produce found at the local markets has generally travelled a much smaller distance than food sold in the supermarkets as it tends to be sourced from local farmers. Shopping locally reduces your carbon footprint as it reduces the distance from farm to plate.
Food is Fresher
In the local markets the produce available to buy are the crops that are growing seasonally in the area. The result of this is fresher food as crops are harvested at their peak ripeness and are taken straight to the market. If you compare this to imported products found in the supermarkets, the time from being picked to being sold is much shorter in the markets meaning fresher and more flavoursome ingredients to cook with.
Added Bonus: The bakery located in the local market here in Dauin makes fresh doughnuts throughout the day. For only 5 pesos grab a freshly cooked warm sugary treat to snack on as you wander round. At IMR we definitely have a small doughnut addiction.