For the Chinese, going to market every day is just a way of life. People in China are healthy and slim. A key to this is all the variety and the freshness of their produce.
For me, a trip to China is not complete unless I go to the market and see all the produce. The Chinese diet is filled with lots of vegetable and fruits. While I was in China for a month last year, I could count on one hand the number of people who were overweight. As I visit and take tours to China and I have observed the lifestyle of the people over the past few years, I have decided that it is the type of food and the amount of exercise that they get that keeps them healthy and thin.
Now that Western food is coming to China and Japan, more young people are putting on pounds.
A few weeks ago, while teaching one of my Public Relations classes, one of my clients heard me talk about going to China. Brad Brown told me that he had lived there for 3 years while he started a factory. He said that while he was there he weighed 25 pounds by less eating and living the Chinese way. Now that he is home in America, he has put it all back on!
When his young family lived in China they had a cook. He then asked me if I would like to visit his factory and learn from his cook. I was delighted to have the opportunity to learn. I arrived in China just few days ago and was able to visit and stay at Mr. Brown’s factory for a few days.
Most of the people over here that work with Americans soon get a Western name. Many of their Chinese names are difficult for Americans to pronounce. ‘Season’ is the name that Brad gave to his cook. What a delight it was to meet her and go to market with her. Each day when she comes to work she rides her bike to the market where she buys fresh produce.
Today I would like to invite you to join us as we take you to the local market to see all the interesting people and the fresh produce they come and buy that keeps them so healthy.
Bike—main transportation to the market
Most people that come to market come by bike. They have a basket on their bike to take the produce back to their homes. Many of the farmers also bring the fresh produce on their bikes. China is the bike capital of the world. There are even bike lanes here and bike stop lights.
In Beijing there are 14 million people and 10 million bikes.
Hair is cut and sold at the market
Need a little extra cash when you go to market? Get a haircut! The hair is sold to dealers and then processed and sold for hair extensions.
Season and I go to the market for daily groceries
Season is Brad Brown’s cook who has worked for him for years. When he and his family lived in China she was their personal chef. She knows just what to buy and what a good price is for the item that she is buying. Many of the fruits and vegetables that I saw in the market, like this one, I have not seen or eaten. The variety and the many fruits and vegetables that they eat keep them healthy. Also, for many of the Chinese people, walking or riding their bike is the main way they get from place to place, so this gives them exercise as well.
Lady making clothing repairs at the market
At the market and along the street it is common to see a woman with her treadle machine taking mending in for the local people. At this market there were 3 machines going full speed.
Steam bread cooking
Chinese people do not have ovens, so if you want bread, you will see them steam it in their steam bamboo baskets. At the market you will see many people stopping to have breakfast.
Children go with parents to the market
Many children go to the market with their parents. This little one is just waking up and having his breakfast next to his parent who is there to sell goods to make the family money. The average person in China makes about $200 a month.
Eggs for sale
It is easy to get fresh eggs. The people will kneel down, as you see the woman on the top left do. They shake each egg to make sure that it is not cracked or broken. Egg drop soup is a common dish. Chinese also use a lot of eggs to cook with. Eggs can be a part of one of their vegetable dishes.
Vegetables fresh every day
Tonight I had a tomato salad made with tomatoes that we bought at the market along with fresh cucumbers also purchased today.
Lady selling spices
The people at the market are friendly and happy. A few are shy and do not want you to take their photo but most are happy to say hi and great you with a smile. “Hello” sounds like you are saying “knee how.” This is the first word that most guests learn.
Grand selection of noodles
Rice and noodles are a big part of their diet. Here you get the opportunity to pick one of many noodles.
Pumpkin flowers are used to make soups
I have seen many people caring home this beautiful flower to make soup. They eat the flower and the stem.
Season, the factory chef, buys fresh groceries at the market every day
As I went through that market, I got Season, our cook, to buy as many of the vegetables as I could that I did not know. This is a root vegetable that she took home and peeled and then put into a stir fry with some pork. It was delicious. The greens that you see also went home and were cooked in a stir fry pot and served as a side dish.