57 - My Market

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When I first came to Reunion in 2007, I was surprised to find an island full of modern cars, new roads, the latest technology and fashion. But one thing that was outdated was the local food scene. I was on a fertile, beautiful island with plenty of sun and rain...so why were the supermarkets full of South African apples, Dutch mushrooms and onions from Madagascar? Not to mention the meat, dairy products, oil, rice, spices and packaged foods all shipped in from outside the island. 

At the time, I was used to buying free-range eggs and some organic fruits and vegetables at my local markets back home. But in Reunion I could only find industrial cage eggs. At the markets, there was a lot of local produce but it was all heavily treated. That was 8 years ago, and today it's easier to buy organic and specialty products here. But myself and many other people I know are put off by the high cost, as well as the fact that the majority is imported.

That's why my husband and I decided to start a project recently, to enable more people to buy high quality, organic and artisinal products straight from the producer for a reasonable price. The idea isn't very original. In many other places, including mainland France you can find organic farmers' markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs, known as AMAP in French. We called our project Le Karo, and it's open every Saturday afternoon on our farm in La Possession. So far, we have fruits, vegetables, eggs, spices, honey, spirulina, kombucha, bread, fish and several other products. 
We hope our little contribution will help make organic food more accessible and affordable for a large percentage of the Reunion Island population. In the meantime, I'm happy to finally be able to cook a delicious meal made from products grown on my adopted island home. After all, if I wanted to keep eating Australian carrots, I would have stayed in Australia!
Vocabulary:
outdated - dépassé
plenty - assez
Dutch - néerlandais
shipped in - importé
free-range egg - oeuf fermier
back home - à la maison (australie)
put off - dissuader
so far - jusqu'ici
affordable - abordable
keep - continuer
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