Clean food

By which I mean food free of things which do not nourish. Like pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, etc.

We’re trying to pay more attention to what we eat, and changing the nature of the things we put in our mouths. It has been months since I opened the sugar jar, and I’ve actually moved it out of the kitchen and into the store room. We’re buying heaps more vegetables, to the point where I’ve had to fire up the second fridge again; the weather’s too hot and humid here to keep them out of a refrigerated area. It’s paying off, we both feel better, sleep better and have less wobbly stuff to try and cram into our clothes. But up to now, it’s been a bit of a struggle to find some foods that are more rather than less as nature intended.

Until today. We have discovered a new Farmer’s Market which has been going for a short while in a lovely spot next to the Pioneer river in the centre of town. As this is still so soon after Christmas, there weren’t too many stalls yet, but I’m told that going forward, many others will return after their Christmas break.

On sale we saw: Home made jams, sauces and pickles; culinary and dessert sauces and locally made rum liqueur; freshly caught local seafood and fish; local garlic and herbs; local salads and greens; local pineapples, picked that morning; local pumpkins and zucchini; local jakfruit, watermelons, sugar bananas, pawpaws and mangoes; organic grass-fed, biodynamic pork, beef, bacon, sausages and proper pastured free range eggs; local musicians and coffee stalls, and more…

clean-foodI love a good porky snag (sausage, if you’re not an Aussie), so I bought a pack of them from Freckle Farm: pork, leeks, garlic, rice flour and salt. I needed eggs, so I bought a dozen of those too, from the same place. The hens are allowed to range freely, not yarded, and they are stocked at only 150 per acre rather than up to 4,000 per acre, which is apparently what the egg producing industry feels is free range. I don’t, and I’ll be buying these whenever I can in future. The farm uses no pesticides or herbicides, the animals are pasture raised on biodynamic principles, and visitors are welcome to see the animals and inspect their living conditions. I picked up a price list for the pork and beef, and while it is significantly more expensive than either the supermarket or the good butcher, I suspect we’ll be happier to eat smaller quantities of this superior product.

The Husband likes something a bit bitey with his eggs and snags, so we bought some sample pots of chilli sauces and chutneys, and we’ll buy a big jar of whatever he likes best next time we go. And finally, the nice man on the banana stall gave me a free sugar (Ducasse) banana and some very useful info about where to buy licensed slips for bluggoes (a kind of plantain), as I’ve seen no cooking banana types anywhere. This is a banana-producing state, so you have to go to a licensed supplier to avoid cross-breeding, pests and diseases.

If there’s anyone close enough to Mackay to pay a visit to the market, it’s well worth the time. Here’s the FaceBook page link, so you can see what’s on and what people think.

I’ll be going back next time I need eggs, that’s for sure. And I’m pretty sure the Husband’ll be wanting more of those snags…

33 thoughts on “Clean food

  1. Sounds like a great farmers market. Our best one is May – October, or something like that, and not terribly convenient for location. But we should make a better effort at using it. We do eat more carefully than the average bear (which isn’t much of a brag.) I do make most meals from less processed foods. We make our own yogurt about half the time, make our own bread and granola, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. It’s not perfect but gives us a pretty low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar, high-nutrient diet. But there’s always room for improvement! 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ll be putting half the sausages into the freezer, the eggs will be gone very quickly, and that banana will be sliced into some homemade yoghurt today. I love knowing how fresh everything is, and the fact that this market is weekly means I can ensure the freshness and low food-miles of what I’m feeding us. I love to cook, and wonderful ingredients keep it interesting!

  2. I wrote a long comment but it looks like it disappeared! 😦

  3. Other than growing your own, nothing beats food from a proper farmers market where the stallholders are the growers-producers [as opposed in some cases to resellers]. We’ve been fans for a few years now as you know, and we enjoyed your local Sarina markets among many during our trip around Oz. Now back home, we’ll be doing the rounds of our local markets once the holiday season & traffic is over.

    • katechiconi says:

      If/When you make it back up here, try and make sure your visit includes a Wednesday morning, so we can go to this one as well. I’d have bought a lot more if I’d had space in the fridge…

  4. Anlina says:

    All sounds delicious. I like reduced food miles too 🙂

  5. In Cape Town we are very lucky to have an amazing range of farmers’ markets to choose from, every weekend. People take this stuff really seriously! There’s even one totally dedicated to the Banting lifestyle.

    • katechiconi says:

      Just checking that’s Banting and not Bantu? Hehe… You are lucky. If I lived in a different part of the state, or a different city, it might be easier, but we’re 300+km from our southern neighbour and 200+km from our northern neighbour, so well and truly isolated!

      • I’m forgetting! Do you have immediate neighbours, like in a suburb, or are you on smallholdings? or even bigholdings!?

      • katechiconi says:

        We live in a small community south of the city, which has a school, a post office and a pub. Yes, we have immediate neighbours, but we have 3/4 acre/one third of a hectare of back yard. I used to live on a tinyholding (same size) which was much more fertile and had much fewer pests, and I managed to eat pretty well! I’ve tried growing food here, but all the local wildlife, big and small, gets to it first.

  6. tialys says:

    Sounds wonderful and I’m quite partial to local musicians – are they free-range?

  7. Debbierose says:

    Clean eating is the way to go. Were trying also. Although difficult as we have lots of functions & family gathering. Its excellent supporting local producers & produce tastes much nicer

  8. anne54 says:

    That’s an impressive list of produce available. There are so many reasons to support farmers’ markets. There are a couple around us, but we tend to go to the Victoria Market. There are some organic and biodynamic stalls, but it is not the same as a farmers’ market. I am on the hunt for sustainable pork….

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, I love the Queen Vic market, such a fantastic range of everything! I miss the cheeses, the deli, the breads… On the other hand, I do have all that lovely fresh tropical produce, and now, the amazing meat and eggs 🙂

  9. Oh, I do like a farmer’s market.

  10. kathyreeves says:

    Good for you Kate!! Farmer’s Markets are such a great community asset! Both Girl# 1 and 2 would not have survived their city experiences in college without them. We try to grow our own as much as possible here, and are excitedly waiting for our first home grown beef in a few weeks. Growing up on a farm I took so much for granted! While we haven’t gone organic, we have been on the no processed food/made from scratch plan for many years, which it seems many American families don’t quite understand. 😳 I envy you that incredible selection of fresh fruits!

    • katechiconi says:

      When I was younger and fitter, and lived in Northern NSW, I grew a lot of my own food, and raised sheep and rabbits for meat and chickens for eggs. I was single then. Now, I’m married and live in an area a bit less friendly to that sort of thing (giant grasshoppers, monsoon season, cyclones), and my body isn’t up to it any more since the back surgery. So it’s always good to find someone raising meat as I’d raise it, and beautiful vegetables and fruit.

  11. Carole says:

    I need to get back to clean eating. We both felt so much healthier when we were avoiding all the additives. There’s a lovely sausage shop up the road too. Sausages made on the premises and lots of lovely flavours without the nasty bits.

    • katechiconi says:

      It truly does affect how you feel, doesn’t it? And although it means I spend much longer in the kitchen, making things from scratch does lead to some memorable meals!

  12. dayphoto says:

    It’s nice to find a place you enjoy shopping in!


    • katechiconi says:

      The stallholders are all so friendly and passionate about their products and helpful about answering questions. It makes the experience fun, and shopping not a chore at all.

  13. Well done and a good find!

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