When I went to London for my long overdue trip back to the city where I grew up, I arrived just in time for the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Pimlico (my mother’s local) to buy raw milk for Olivia. I was impressed that they were selling raw milk in plain sight, something which doesn’t happen in the US (usually it has to be bought secretively as if doing a drug deal!). The market is part of London Farmers’ Markets: a group of certified farmers’ markets around London, established by the food writer Nina Planck in 1999. Nina Planck wrote the book Real Food which along with The Weston A. Price Foundation and The Body Ecology Diet, made a lasting impact on me and is THE book that anyone interested in adopting a healthy diet should read, as it has a very straightforward and simplistic approach.
I was amazed by how much more modern and multicultural the city has become since my last visit and especially since I left ten years ago. While London has always been one of the leaders of the organic movement (it was where I first started eating organically in my early twenties), there is now a vast array of options for me in terms of real food when I visit. I remember during my first trip back after I left, in 2004, my friend took me to the Marylebone Farmers’ Market and it was the first of it’s kind that I had seen. Back then I wasn’t yet a real foodie, I was still just an industrial organic foodie, (eating foods that were labeled organic but not unprocessed, sustainable or from animals that were humanely treated and pastured) and so I couldn’t appreciate it as much as I do now. Now there are 21 certified Farmers’ Markets across the city and several shops and restaurants serving real food.