Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wisconsin 101: Where to buy food

I went to the farmers market yesterday. Here's the secret: don't go to the yuppie farmers markets in the suburbs. Go to the farmers market in the poor people neighborhoods. Same vendors, same products, better prices.

Except for the occasional yuppie farmer (i.e., white, not Hmong) who has not studied the marketplace at all and thinks that $1.75 for a bunch of cilantro ($1 from other FM vendors, 50 cents at the Vietnamese grocer down the street) is what she's going to get. Or $3.75 for a tiny little basket of broccoli.

There were no lines at the yuppie farmer's booth.

Shoppers are not stupid. Shoppers know what cilantro and broccoli should cost. Even if you're willing to pay a premium to support a local farmer, you're probably not willing to pay a premium to support a local farmer who doesn't understand her market.

There were lines at the Hmong booths. And at the stand where they were frying brats and roasting corn. And selling red velvet cake.

I didn't buy so much yesterday because I was still using the five pounds of baby cabbage I bought last week. And the cabbage sprouts. And the eggplant. And the tomatoes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, man! You said it!

Our farmers' market is 'trendy and spendy.' $2/quarter-pound of spinach. I could buy nice steak for $8/lb.

I kinda resent the farmers' market -- the yuppies who shop there every Thursday take too many of the spots in my parking lot at work.

I have to leave for work 10 minutes early so that I can hover in MY parking lot and get a spot on FM days.