How I Shop a Farmer's Market
Eggs first! They were laid last night. They sell out daily. They sell out early. These hens were free to roam around as they pleased, had access to water, shelter, and good food. The yolks stand up in the pan, are pricey but good. Look at their organic beef and chicken while you are there but leave these purchases on ice until you are finished. Stash the eggs in a cool place and come back for the meat. OK, let's see what you remember about eggs. Which is better, Grade A or Grade AA? Which is healthier, brown or white? (Answers are at the end of this post. Maybe.)
Now, tour the ENTIRE market before buying! Look at the produce. Taste the samples. Talk to the vendors. Then decide. It's not so much who has the cheapest tomato. It's the quality of what you are going to put into your body that counts. Now, do I want a vegetable that looks perfect? No! True organic nutrient rich produce looks lopsided/ twisted a bit, with size and color variations. It's the grocery store nutrient poor produce that looks like each piece has been cloned from the next.
Got a feel for the Market? Now buy. And don't try to bargain down on the price unless you are buying a huge quantity. That's the farmer and his family you are talking to. They deserve respect.
Finally, look at the fruits and vegetables you bought. Did you buy the rainbow? Do you have something purple, blue, green, red, orange, yellow, and white? What color are you missing? Different colored produce have different nutrients, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds to promote your health.
Now, go find something new in that color you missed, something you've never eaten before. Ask the farmer what it is, and how to cook it. Have him pick a good one for you and buy it. Some of my favorite nutrient dense oddball veggies? Radicchio, dandelion leaves, daikon radish, purple carrots, and the weirdest type of cucumber or squash I can find.
Then don't forget the fish. Fish, Fowl and Beef choose first and pick up last. Ask for some ice.
And then.... Enjoy yourself !
PS: If you don't know the answer, read the "Incredible Edible Egg."