[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: 'Canton Road Market'

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

'Canton Road Market'

A majority of people, especially the young would tend to do their grocery runs at the local chainstores such as Park 'n Shop or Welcome. Push your trolley down a few aisles and you can grab products such as Brazilian coffee or Canadian beef, these stores are a direct product of globalisation. With the consolidation of global distribution networks, food production technology and mixed with their marketing culture of 'super saver points', why shop anywhere else?
But there are still markets like the one in Canton Road, Mong Kok that is always a welcoming change fromthe sight of mass produced tinned foods, GM crap and the sterile decor of supermarket stores. Seeing live fish pouncing around in their styrofoam boxes and friendly old ladies selling hand picked veggies is something we don't see much in the West.
That is because we demand efficiency, variety and convenience, especially in something mundane as grocery shopping. But it is this desire that can make producers cut corners and engage in unfair practices. Would you buy Nestle chocolate if you knew it was made by child slave labour from Ivory Coast? Or patented rice from Monsanto that was cruelly stolen from the Phillipine indigenous? We wouldn't want to make our grocery runs a political issue all the time.
It is comforting to know that the hawkers and shops at markets such as the one in Canton Road are locally based and produced. So full of life, culture, owners wooing customers with cheesy compliments and er, rather strong odours. There is no cheating, no unfair trade policies to deal with and certainly free of GM and emulsifiers. Grocery shopping with a clear conscience, but still I hate the smell!

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