Essay on Organic Produce in Chinatown

Essay on Organic Produce in Chinatown

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Currently, New Chinatown does not hold any farmers’ market or community garden. There was, however, a weekly farmers’ market held in Chinatown a couple years ago but was discontinued recently. The reasons were unclear, though some of the residents pointed out that the overall indifference of the Chinese community to these organic food markets might be to blame. In a later interview, one of the residents and also the business manager of Wonder Bakery in New Chinatown stated that the farmers’ market was not especially popular, as they did not see a real need in paying higher prices for the same type of produce, apparently because of their ignorance about the health benefits of organic foods.
The closest farmers’ market to New Chinatown is in Echo Park, located approximately 5 minutes away via automobile, near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Boulevard. This market takes place every Friday from 3pm to 8 pm, where on an average day would bring in about 500 customers to this market of twenty stands. On rainy days and unfavorable weather conditions, however, only six stands are present, one of which – called Sweredoski Farms - sells produce. Sweredoski Farms is an urban farm in Bell Gardens that sells fresh, seasonal, and “all-natural” produce. Interestingly, this produce is only grown a mere fifteen minutes’ drive away from where the farmers’ market takes place.
It is also useful to note that the majority of these six vendors are not “certified organic.” Instead they prefer the call themselves “all natural,” stating that the license to become certified organic is too expensive and in order to raise enough money to apply for this license would require them to raise their prices dramatically. Some vendors indeed use pestici...


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... foods are new concepts that they have not heard of before; the older residents have grown up without them just fine. They are content with what they already have and do not see the need to expend the efforts to understand the new things. Most importantly, however, they must think about the financial costs. For New Chinatown residents, bringing in alternative, generally more expensive sources of food is not totally relevant to their needs. We may speculate that the produce sold at these farmers’ markets are not aligned with those used in the cultural diet.
Adding all these factors together, it paints a picture of this New Chinatown that is set in its ways when it comes to the food they eat and prepare. The absence of a farmers’ market or community garden does not seem to matter much, as the availability of typical Asian food is more than adequate to this community.

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