In continuation to previous article on disappearance of traditional wet markets and the challenges it faced, more thoughts will be shared in this article. Disappearances of traditional wet markets not only mean loss of an important social gathering point, a community shared space where interactions could be initiated easily and effortlessly. Closing of wet markets also means loss of diversity of food suppliers.

Similarly to many other industries in Singapore, food supply here has increasingly in the recent years come under the control of a few major corporations. Wet markets is different, it is made up of small independent hawkers, which caters to alternative and minority needs that could not be met by a supermarket. There are more variations in a traditional wet market than standardizations in terms of quantity of product sale in contrast to a supermarket. Instead of being pre-packed, customers could get the exact amount they need to ensure the freshness of food.

Nonetheless, many would then argue against the conveniences of this method of purchasing for fresh produces in contrast to the current lifestyle where a working adult would not be able to shop many times a week for fresh produces. Why is this so then, when at the same time, we talk about healthy lifestyle, healthy food products? Shouldn’t more emphasis be put into what we put into our mouth? More conscious efforts should be done on individual’s part? If, of course, we could solve problems like short operating time, and sometimes lack of variety sold in the wet markets. We should think of a future where wet markets are places with efficient of food distribution and strong network of freshly produced food.

In addition, everything we go after time efficiency, hence in order to encourage more to go to the wet market, it has to be more of a one-stop place where most amenities could be found. It is more of gathering more amenities, which are less time dictated to be located together, and help to attract a wider customer base.

What should the future of wet markets be then? Referencing to this article on “You Are Where You Eat: Re-Focusing Communities Around Markets, Future of Market places”, it offers some perspectives on how future wet markets could be. It pointed out an important issue that primarily there is a problem with our relationship with food in today’s context. Our food system has stopped being about food, and has become entirely about convenience. And how new lifestyles disconnect us from the natural cycle of daily life, and thus the communities of people that shared the same market.

However, “markets are very reassuring places, because they give you a sense of responsibility for your own health. People are experimenting, and reinventing what it means to have a good life.”
“Great markets are created through the clustering of activity. They require the intentional aggregation of local food production, but also of other services and functions. The food is the central reason for why people gather, and that gathering creates a hub for community life.” This could be the very future of our traditional wet markets too.

 
Reference:
“You Are Where You Eat: Re-Focusing Communities Around Markets, Future of Market places”,
http://www.pps.org/blog/you-are-where-you-eat-re-focusing-communities-around-markets/

Featured image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolebratt/7358154914/