After our trip to Kensington market, I felt quite guilty about purchasing my groceries at Bloor Street Market. After reading these articles, my guilt grew and I have decided to change my location of grocery shopping.
Supermarkets are definitely a convenient location for food purchases. Customers are provided with fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, and a large variety of snacks and imported food. Many supermarkets and corporate food stores are “suspiciously” very well placed within the city, close to the residential areas and student centres.
It wasn’t until Lister mentioned ‘placeless foods’ that I really pondered upon where the food actually came from (Lister, 2012, 150). The GTA, as mention in the Cultivating Food Connections article, is home to some of the best agricultural land in the country, as well as the fact that it has access to a large amount of fresh water (Cultivating Food Connections, 2012, 7). With the perfect natural resources, why do we import so much of our food?
“Upscale customers” of large cities prefer to buy exotic fruit and imported goods rather than local product, and choose the imported “organically certified” foods over the local product as well (Lister, 2012, 151). Maybe it’s a hipster thing, I don’t know. I feel very hypocritical writing this article. Obviously, going to one location to purchase all your grocery needs is less time consuming for a university student or working parent but, we should consider the fact that we would help the local economy and support local farmers of Ontario by purchasing food at markets. Domestic income would probably increase a bit if we had less imports.
Grocery stores are very overpriced and to some extent unhealthy at that. The 1950’s brought upon to the world genetically modified food and hormone addition to our meats (Cultivating Food Connections, 2012, 11). Grocery stores are all about capitalism. Making cash because we are lazy and we choose to shop at grocery stores rather than going to the market. As long as they have consumers, the producers do not worry about was goes into the food. Environmental problems also arise with mass production of food; increased transportation to obtain and deliver the food, as well as industrial production (Lister, 2012, 159).
These food issues are affecting people’s health.
One out of every three children, between the ages of two and eleven is overweight in the city of Toronto (Cultivating Food Connections, 2012,3). With the economy being low, local market prices increase because more people tend to shop at large grocery stores. The food at the grocery stores is mainly mass-produced, so the imports probably have a lot of preservatives, and they all take a toll on our health. Newcomers to Canada and families struggling with finance tend to pick cheap food because they cannot afford to purchase the local food, and that is a sad fact (Cultivating Food Connections, 2012, 3).
Corporate fast food companies such as McDonald’s (not to pick on it) take quite the advantage of those struggling financially. With their selection of coupons, parents can affordably feed their children.
Writing this blog brings to my attention so many different food issues, but only a limited amount of ways to solve them. If everyone began to purchase locally, we wouldn’t have to use preservatives because the food would always be fresh and only a couple hours away. But with everyone accustomed to the fancy exotic imported food, how will we do that? Imported foods attract foreign newcomers, as they are able to eat the foods of their people. (That sentence sounded like a very Pocahontas/Disney cheesy line)
I have nothing else to say. Well I have a lot to say but it won’t fit in one blog post. Let’s just make sure there will be no Loblaws in Kensington market.
Lister, Nina-Marie. Placing Food. Toronto: Ryerson
Cultivating Food Connections.