How shopping at Farmers’ Markets can make your mealtimes happier

Posted by admin on 6th May 2015

Supermarket shopping can at times be bamboozling. Trying to figure out where products have originated from can be unclear and often you are left with no clue as to how your food has made its way to your plate – other than the journey from the supermarket to your kitchen.

So why not take a trip down to your local Farmers’ Market to do some shopping and you will have already taken a ‘green’ step forward by purchasing food that hasn’t been flown half way round the world – and the person you are buying it from probably only baked, picked or packaged it the day before.

At Aberdeen Country Fair we pride ourselves in bringing together traders with a passion for providing good wholesome products.

The array of breads and pastries from The Little Sourdough Bakery uses (as the name suggests) ‘sourdough’ which is produced by the fermentation of organic flour and water by naturally occurring wild yeasts. The result – a lower glycaemic index and the easier absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Then how about topping that with some of Perthshire Preserves tasty jam made from local berries? Or if chutney is your choice from their stall, it can even be enjoyed by those with Coeliac Disease, as Perthshire Preserves use wine vinegar and not malt.

If you’re watching your waistline you might be delighted to hear that The Wee Pie Company’s pies are not off limits with around half the calories and far less fat than many other pie varieties. Vegetable shortening replaces animal fat in the pastry and they casserole their fillings using wild meats that are not intensively farmed, cooking them in their own juices without adding fat, and seasoning rather than salting. Delicious!

In the meat industry ‘traceability’ is key. We asked Andrew Booth of The Store at Foveran about that in relation to his Aberdeen Angus Cattle. He responded “Traceablity? I’ve not only watched the herd grow up, I know their names!” The Store’s cattle and sheep are raised in small numbers in open fields and fed on natural pastures and home grown fodder with no genetically modified supplements. A similar ethos is applied to their vegetables, which are grown without any artificial fertilisers or pesticides. In addition, all their farming is carried out with a sympathetic eye for the environment leaving as many wild areas as possible to encourage beneficial insects and wildlife.

But of course, it’s not only what your food is made of, it’s what you take it home in. You won’t find polystyrene packaging, pads to soak up moisture, and fancy boxes and labels at Aberdeen Country’s Fairs stalls. Buy bread and it’s likely to have a paper bag round it, the fish is in a thin polythene bag and drinks invariably looking super tasty in a glass bottle that can be re-used or recycled.

Aberdeen Country Fair runs on the city’s Belmont Street every last Saturday of the month. To find details of a Farmers’ Market near you log on to the Scottish Association of Farmers’ Markets website or contact your local Council.