Have you seen the price of cherries lately? Or the going rate for a kiwi? It seems like prices rise with every trip to supermarket. Chapel Market (HUB Islington’s local market) will be the focus of a new Channel 4 documentary that will question whether it’s cheaper to shop for fruit and veg in big supermarkets, convenience stores or a local market. Within Secrets of Your Supermarket Shop, presenter Tazeen Ahmad compared the price of ten items bought in Chapel Market with the same amount from the Sainsbury’s around the corner. Perhaps not surprisingly, the market stall was the cheapest option by far. I caught up with Karen Jones, who has been running a fruit and veg stall in the market since 1985: “I always say ‘use us or lose us’,” she said. “The fruit and veg on the stall are fresher, not pre-packed and cheaper. Once we’re gone there’ll only be supermarkets and farmer’s markets which charge a fortune.” I’m definitely guilty of choosing the convenience of supermarkets but seeing 6 kiwis for 60p and a punnet of plums for 80p on Karen’s stall, it just makes sense to shop at the market. Local resident Margo Richardson was quick to list the other advantages. “It’s a nice atmosphere here, and I don’t feel part of a corporate machine,” she said. “People should make an effort to come here to the market. It’s important to preserve the local tradition.” The programme will also be looking at the government’s plans to involve supermarkets in ensuring that people can afford to eat healthily while keeping food budgets down. But the most immediate answer has to be: Head to the market!
Catch the Chapel Market traders on telly at 8pm on Monday 21 January: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-118/episode-7