Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Down (the) market

What we learnt from last nights Telly:The True Cost of Cheap Food

"Pies damned pies and statistics!
I finally caught up with my celebratory stalker's
programme on cheap food (thanks to every one for the Deptford tip off). It was all good stuff straightforward if strangely old school journalism i.e. Jay Rayner went out and found out stuff and then told us about it. Basically cheaper food could be a bit better nutritionally for very little extra cost, this cost the supermarkets could swallow in their huge profits. It was good for a food programme not to be too preachy about the necessity of many people to shop cheaply which often means shopping at supermarkets.
For ease of access presumably he filmed down Deptford market (after all he does only live in Brixton!) he did avoid quoting TS Elliot which was a shame.



"This is a Local shop"


In some respects Deptford is slightly anomalous place to test the programmes theories because it has a really good and relatively thriving market. The market is run at least 3 days a week and also has wealth of small independent food shops (which makes it sound poncy but they're just grocers, butchers, fish mongers etc.) You can get good meat, a range of veg from far and near most of what you'd want apart from in my case cheese and perhaps beer. The only chain supermarket is Iceland and the nearest big supermarket is a bus ride away in New Cross.


Another irony is that down the bottom of the high street there are 2 pie and mash shops (Jay was handing out pies for people to taste and compare) ideally placed at one time to feed the workers from the now closed docks and the power station but a bit out of the way for the main market. Also almost opposite where Jay set up his pretend pie stall was the former shop of south London favourite Kennedy's sausages which sold locally made pies up until last year.


I think I'm lucky to live near such a good market and get a large proportion of my food (and Vinyl)! from there, only going to chain supermarkets if I must. Obviously someone shopping for3 or 4 people will have lots to carry but the people who shop in Deptford probably don't have cars anyway so unless they get a taxi with the added cost or struggle onto a bus the local supermarkets aren't much help. Also there are plenty of people in London with small or no families who still drive 1-2 miles to shop at supermarkets rather than walk to the shops.


Obviously in many places people don't have the choice of a market like we do but when I visit supermarkets I'm not totally convinced of their virtues, I'm always amazed at how long it takes to pay for the food, they aren't that cheap plus they encourage you to overspend with their mulitbuy deals etc.


People complain about Tescos (and the woman on Hugh complicated names programme this evening was a particular poor example of your corporate type the way she blustered and evaded was shameful) et al but well if you have a local choice why not use it and perhaps try to find someone that sells pies with more than 10% meat in 'em.


6 comments:

Mr G. said...

Markets are smart. About 2 years ago I started getting all my fruit and veg at Kirkgate market in Leeds, and have now moved allegiance to Otley, but either way they are miles quicker, cheaper, less hassle and more pleasant places to shop than a supermarket. And you get paper bags, which are great for lining your kitchen compost caddy!

BLTP said...

What Mr g you've forgone the victorian wrought iron work masterpiece for Otley (what are the pies like?)

another top tip for paper bags you use them to pop corn in in the microwave!

Ex-Coventry Blogger said...

Good to get the local viewpoint on the programme! Glad you enjoyed it.

Mr G. said...

Pies are better in Otley - partic the pork pies - fresh baked with still warm runny jelly. You can't eat them with a baby in a front carry-pouch or young 'un ends up glazed. Only 90p 'n all.

al_uk said...

Barnsley Market is having a real tough time, I think the speculation regarding Tuscan Moutnain village has meant some bigger companies are waiting and seeing with regarding opening new stores and so the market is dying on its feet.
(ps Jay is obviously not rising to the bait this time but nice try wink!)

al_uk said...

Barnsley Market is having a real tough time, I think the speculation regarding Tuscan Moutnain village has meant some bigger companies are waiting and seeing with regarding opening new stores and so the market is dying on its feet.
(ps Jay is obviously not rising to the bait this time but nice try wink!)