What to Get At the Farmer’s Market
If you’re like me then you like farmer's markets.
And if you don’t like farmer’s markets then after this I think you may.
There are some obvious benefits to farmer’s markets, including variety, fun, sunshine, and savings.
On top of that, if you shop at a farmer’s market you’re doing a service to your local economy by putting money in the pockets of your community as opposed to sending it to corporate interests. Not that you shouldn’t appreciate what a grocery store can do for your refrigerator, but shopping local is an amazing choice.
However, those benefits are just a few of the benefits that a farmers' market can provide you and your family.
The truth is the things that you can buy at a farmer’s market are also great for your health, and, in some instances, the products you find at a farmers' market are not available at a grocery store or even online. So, it’s almost like you have to shop there.
Today I’ll be going over an unofficial list of health-boosting products you can purchase at a farmer’s market that will do you and your family good.
I think you’ll be shocked to find that there are a few things on this list that you will come to love and you simply can’t get elsewhere.
5 Things To Get On Your Next Trip to A Farmers Market
As I mentioned above, farmer's markets are great because many of the things you’ll find there are available to you at a reduced cost.
The reason why is that many times people who sell direct to you at a farmer's market don’t have to pay the additional costs of distribution and middlemen.
So, while these products may cost a little less (or the same) than what you’d pay at a health food store, their features and/or benefits are far better
1- Soap and Skin Products Made with Animal Fats:
Recently there’s been a movement for people to ditch skincare products that contain PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats), specifically the ones that come from industrial seed oils
I’ve written about how bad seed oils can be before, and that was in the context of how bad they are for your body when consumed orally.
It turns out that those same oils can cause all kinds of problems when applied to your skin.
There’s research to show that PUFAs in skincare products can accelerate skin aging, seep into the skin being absorbed into the blood, and wreak havoc.
Stephanie Pena, a manufacturer of low-PUFA skincare products says this about these products
“Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) are less stable oils than fully saturated oils. Because of this instability, ingesting PUFAs or applying them topically to be absorbed through the skin can cause susceptibility to free radicals and cellular damage. Not only does this disrupt our endocrine system and hormones, but it can also accelerate the aging process.
PUFA, being an unstable oil, is more likely to bond with oxygen when heated or in light. This is called oxidation, which can cause exposure to free radicals (as Pena previously explains), and boy do they wreak havoc on our skin cells! The goal is to avoid oxidative stress to the most beautiful and visible organ of our body: our skin.”
Dr. Ray Peat, a Ph.D. has written extensively on the danger PUFAs present when applied topically - you can read more here.
So, if you want to get a skincare product that is really good for you, a farmers' market is a great place to get ones made from animal fat.
It may sound off-putting, but for centuries beauty products were made with animal fat, so this return to the golden age of skincare is both beneficial in that it gets you clean, or beautifies you, but does so without the downsides.
2- Local Honey:
Honey is amazing, and if we lived in New Zealand I’d be able to talk about how it could even replace antibiotics in some situations.
Regardless, honey is something you should buy at the local market.
For a few reasons.
First, buying local honey encourages the proliferation of bee populations in your area. Bee populations are threatened, and seeing as how they are essential pollinators if you have the means to help them expand their habitats, you should.
Secondly, eating local honey helps to stave off allergies. Because honey is made from local pollen, there’s evidence to show that consuming it can reduce the severity of allergic reactions to the plant life in your area.
Millions suffer from allergies and this is a great way to make it so you don’t.
Last, you know it’s real. Local honey isn’t subjected to the fraud that the global honey market has been for decades. The vast majority of honey sold in stores has been tampered with and filled with ingredients that are anything but honey.
Getting local honey, and knowing you can locate the source if need be, helps to keep the industry more honest.
3- Raw Dairy:
Depending on where you live, raw dairy is one of the best superfoods you can get from the farmers' market.
Why raw dairy over store-bought?
Because it hasn’t been pasteurized.
Now, some people think this is inherently dangerous. But, raw dairy generally isn’t dangerous. Provided that the receptacle the milk goes into is sterile, the odds of you coming down with something from raw dairy are pretty low.
All pasteurization did was help to kill bacteria that grew after milk was exposed. Does that mean that raw milk is impervious to bacterial growth?
No, which is why it’s a calculated risk to drink it. Raw dairy such as cheese and other fermented products are much safer because the bacteria don’t often thrive during fermentation.
Raw dairy has several distinct advantages or benefits over store-bought.
Here’s a quick rundown.
- Typically comes from grass-fed and grass-finished cows: Grass-fed and finished cows have better fats than conventional cows.
- Better overall nutritional quality:
Take a look at the snapshot below and you’ll get an idea of how much better raw milk can be for you from a total nutritional standpoint:
- Better for the environment: Mamy of the farmers who are selling raw milk are invested in regenerative agriculture, which is one of the most important movements of our time.
Conventional milk coming from conventionally raised cows may contribute to the degradation of soil quality. Regenerative farming is a light in a dark place for animal and plant husbandry and I believe if we’re to actually flourish as a species we need to devote tons of attention to it. Drinking raw milk could help.
4- Organic Seedlings:
So, I think that easily one of the number 1 best foods to buy at a farmer's market is organic seedlings.
And that’s because you can then grow your own food for yourself. Yes, even if you don’t have a green thumb.
Not only are organic seedlings going to potentially turn into organic food crops, but the fact is also when you eat food grown out of your own garden you’re getting the most potent and most nutritious fruits or vegetables imaginable.
Direct from the source means their nutritional profile is as high as it can possibly get.
Plus, when you can grow your own food dependably it means you don’t have to worry about food shortages (which is something you hear a lot about lately).
Getting organic seedlings promotes better health and could even help save your life.
5- Organ Meat
Organ meat is something that many of you reading this have no real desire to try. But if you begin to learn just how nutritious it is (read this to see why organ meats are ideal superfoods) you may consider adding it to your meals.
The problem with organ meat isn’t just that we’re not accustomed to eating it…it’s also that there’s really no good place to get it.
However, that’s not the case if you shop at farmer's markets.
Many farmers' markets are filled with ranchers who would rather sell their organ meats to you than to a dog food company.
And if you begin incorporating organ meat into your diet you might see a ton of facets of your health improve.
There’s no denying they’re good for you, and yes, there is an adjustment period necessary to incorporating them into your diet, but the fact remains that they’re often available at farmer's markets and for prices that you can’t argue with.