Farmer's Market (Burke, VA)

Farmer's Market Burke, VA
Today, we went to the farmer's market, and thankfully it looks like I've finally found a consistent resource for some grassfed meats.  (But more on that later.)  It was a beautiful but hot day, and I have to say, it's hard not to go overboard on buying stuff with all the sites, smells, colors and beautiful produce.  To most paleo lifestyle people, a farmer's market is something that's been on their radar for quite some time.  However, this post is geared more towards newbies, or people who don't really have a lot of exposure (or access) to farmer's markets.

Heirloom Tomatoes! 
The thing that is wonderful about local produce and meats is that you get to talk to the people who actually generate the product.  People who have had their hand in the soil.  Those who've plowed, picked, gathered, raised, fertilized, fed and yes, even slaughtered that meats and vegetables you're buying.  Talk to them, and most of these people genuinely care about food quality.  

Grassfed Pork
I know what you're thinking: "Local", "Organic", Grassfed", etc has become all the rage these days but c'mon is it really worth it?  I know that many dismiss these terms as hippy or yuppie cultural nomenclature, but you really need to look past the idea that food quality is something classist.  To people who don't really care about food quality (or who have really never really thought about it), I'd challenge you to buy some organic local foods.  Try a tomato, for example, and then try it's store-bought GMO/conventional equivalent.  I guarantee you'll be astonished at the difference in flavor, texture, and quality.  And the research has all shown a pretty large difference in nutrient density.  In terms of grassfed meat, here's a quick primer by Mark Sisson on the advantages of grassfed local meats.   
Organ meats are very nutrient dense.  GF Ground Beef Heart

Another aspect to which people often object is just how expensive everything seems.  But one must pay for quality and it's not all that exorbitant (in my opinion) compared to conventional foods.  Also, one must consider that you are supporting local farms, which in itself has some inherant value.  Lastly, and perhaps most telling, is that in comparison to whole foods grocers like "Whole Foods", "Vitamin Cottage", or "Trader Joes", shopping a farmer's market ends up feeling downright cheap.

What about the cost of health?  If you buy in to the "whole foods" idea: that cleaner, local, nutrient-dense, toxin-free, and grassfed foods are healthier (they are) then one must consider the significant costs of one's improved health.  Can you put a dollar value on the idea that you'll get sick less often?  What about avoiding heart disease?  What about the cost of NOT having diabetes?  Cancer?  Living primally doesn't guarantee anyone to be free of health problems, but certainly one minimizes the chances of coming down with a disease that is likely put him in the hospital.  Also, from strictly a vanity point-of-view, most folks would pay huge sums of money to simply look better.  To me, NOT hesitating to take off my shirt  at a beach is priceless.

Lastly, chances are you eat less if you're a follower of the paleo lifestyle.  You simply won't need to eat as often or as much, because your sense of satiety is heightened.  High carb and grain-eaters require lots of groceries, because they're always trying to restore glucose levels after a big insulin spike.  They are ravenous snackers!  That doesn't happen with Paleo or low-carb eaters, and thus, we require LESS food! 

When one considers all the above factors, "cost" ends up a relative issue, and it's grossly in favor of buying quality food.  Because really, if you think about it, it ends up saving you THOUSANDS of dollars in the long-run.  (And being a cheap skate, I'm down with that).  Plus, the food is sooo much tastier!

More Farmer's Market Food Porn Below:


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