Pyrmont Growers Market: An Appetite for Authentic Australian Food
It’s lunch time again and you’ve found yourself at the supermarket deciding whether to buy Coke or Fanta to go with the sealed microwavable meal in the trolley. Maybe it will be easier to just forgo the whole process and pay a visit to McDonald’s. Problem is, you are tired of the same old food; you want something different. After all you’re in Australia’s largest city and surely it has some unique cuisines to offer that you cannot find in everywhere else in the world. If it is local flavour you seek, then drop that shopping basket and head on over to the Pyrmont Growers Market.
The Pyrmont Growers Market, located in Pyrmont Bay Park opposite Star City, is one of Australia’s many farmers’ markets and one that offers some of the freshest and most organic foods in Sydney. But what makes it significant for many people is the products on sale are restricted by food miles (the distance the product has been transported) meaning what is on offer is local and unique to the Pyrmont Growers Market. Selling local fresh foods directly from farmers to consumers is what farmers’ markets are renowned for all over the world. They offer relief in a society quickly becoming globalised, where local cuisine and custom are eradicated by monoculture and large corporations such as Kellog’s, Cadbury and McDonald’s.
The opposition towards globalised food industries is one synonymous with the Slow Foods movement. Beginning over 20 years ago, the Slow Foods movement seeks to preserve local cuisine’s taste and preparation, sustainable agriculture and seed varieties. In Australia, it is a movement that has flourished as more people are realising that not only do markets like the Pyrmont Growers Market offer the most genuine fresh and local taste, but even offer varieties of produce not available in supermarkets. These varieties, known as heirloom plants, are usually neglected by larger markets due to inconsistent and unstable yields. In an effect tagged as monoculture, farmers are forced to produce large crops of a select few varieties because of the financial pressure dictated by agricultural globalisation.
It is fortunate that due to their growing popularity the number of farmers markets has tripled in the last 10 years and moved from rural settings to more urban areas, where people are further removed from home grown foods. The markets’ growth can be attributed to the increasing influence of organisations such as the Australian Farmers Market Association and Regional Farmers Market, who both campaign to keep what’s in the shopping trolley inherently Australian.
Though it’s the customers themselves who display the most radical devotion to the markets’ anti-globalisation ideals. A trip to the Pyrmont Growers Market will reveal they are frequented by a new subculture known as “lovacores”. Emerging three years ago, lovacores have an arguably stricter diet than vegans, actively seeking out food that has travelled minimal food miles. Some lovacores adhere to a 100 mile diet, although in a country as large and diverse as Australia, many are content with anything grown in Australian soil. It may seem absurd to have such a strict diet but given the large range of foods available at the Pyrmont Growers Market, from fruit and vegetables to poultry to coffee, even the most resolute locavore will be going home with a large variety of groceries.
Nevertheless, it does not matter if anti-globalisation activism isn’t your calling, or if food miles are not necessary to add to your dietary criteria. If you simply appreciate the freshest and tastiest foods or crave local flavour, then get out of that supermarket, drop that Big Mac, and get down to the Pyrmont Growers Market. You never know what you will find for lunch.
Pay a visit to the Pyrmont Growers Market when it’s next held on Saturday, July 5.
For more information on Slow Foods please visit www.slowfood.com
For stallholder inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Georgie Baldock on (02) 9282 3518