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Tips On Buying Meat At A Farmers Market

Submitted by Jeremy Chin
Posted on 13 Nov, 2017

Tips On Buying Meat At A Farmers Market

Farmers markets can be intimidating for the uninitiated, especially where the buying of meat is concerned. This is because different meat cuts are not as distinguishable as say, fruit. And very often, one must ask for an item because meat products are sometimes kept in a cooler and not displayed. That said, here are some nifty tips on buying meat at a farmers' market.


Be bold: buy a cut of meat that's unfamiliar to you.
Don't expect that farmers will have the cuts you want; popular cuts sell out fast, and availability is often determined by season. Instead, you will find lots of mystery parts that you would not usually find at your normal grocery store.

Talk to the farmers about the things you are familiar with, and ask them if they have any family recipes on how to prepare the things that are new to you.


Bring a small cooler, to keep meat fresh on the way home.
Any food safety concerns you may have about meat refrigeration at farmers’ markets can be resolved by planning. Being equipped with a cooler and ice, and planning to make the farmers’ market your last stop of the day will allow you to get your product home without spoiling. In the summer, meat will stay frozen 1 ½ to 2 hours in a cooler if it is completely frozen and wrapped.


Don’t fret about the absence of labels.
Farmers usually don't have labels on their products, such as grass-fed, pasture-raised, etc. Getting certified costs farmers huge amounts of money, something that may not be worthwhile for a small family operation to do. Instead, talk to them about their farming practices.


Be prepared to buy the whole bird.
For the most part, you'll only find whole chickens at your local market. Selling chicken in parts is costlier for farmers, so most of them choose the whole-bird route. Certain stalls will however entertain requests to cut or debone your bird according to your requests. Chicken sellers know the anatomy of the bird best and can normally do the job of cutting a lot quicker than if you did it yourself in your kitchen.

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