Professor Whitehead writes the following in a post entitled "I went to the farmers' market today".
Come join us each Saturday morning at Watauga County Farmers' Market!
The market has so many things to love: fresh and nutritious local foods, beautiful handmade crafts, face-to-face interactions with the farmers who grow your food, scrumptious breads, jams, jellies, and cheeses made by community members, meat and eggs from local farmers, and of course the friendly social atmosphere of "Boone's Town Square."
I wanted a lower-impact meat option because I am concerned about the environmental and health consequences of a meaty diet, but I can't give up meat. At the downhill end of the L-shaped market were three vendors with the following prices per pound for grass-fed ground beef:
I had purchased steaks from the $5 vendor a month ago and they were good, but I wondered if there was a quality premium reflected in the price since there were no locational or much in the way of transportation differences. I decided to ask someone who ought to know who I should purchase from and s/he said to get the $5/lb pound. Perfect!
At the other end of the L was another vendor whose grass-fed ground beef was priced at $6.75/lb. I'll be checking for convergence the next time I go.
The description of the professor's farmer's market sounds an awful lot like the farmer's market in Mankato, including the price divergence of seemingly perfect substitutes. But I don't recall ever seeing meat for sale at ours. I don't know why that is, but at that price it probably wouldn't matter, at least for ground beef. I buy virtually all my ground beef from a local butcher in Mankato and I pay around $3.89 per pound. I don't know if the cattle were "grass fed" or even what "grass fed" precisely means. I also don't know all the ins and outs of the price of ground beef set by my butcher relative to the sellers at the professor's farmer's market. But I know the ground beef I buy is damn tasty. And cheaper. Yay!