Tag Archives: food

Grains & Growers

Join the Waco Downtown Farmers Market on June 18th for a  Friend-raiser with Balcones Distillery! Each attendee will receive a complimentary drink ticket (to be used for a Balcones cocktail – or Luna Juice mock-tail), as well as be able to sample local eats from several of our vendors  – including Brazos Valley Cheese, Happy Harvest, Bare Bucha, Heritage Creamery, Barefoot Five, Artisan Ovens, Luna Juice, and more!

Learn more about the programming we offer at Market – and how you can continue to help us grow programming such as Double Up Food Bucks, Cooking Demonstrations, Local Music, Gardening Demonstrations, and Kids’ Activities at Market.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at Market or through our Online Store here.   For up-to-date information, including featured menu items from our local vendors, follow us on Facebook here.

Please contact Bethel, the Market Manager, if you have any questions!  [email protected] – 254-307-1884

What’s The Deal With Dairy?

A new year has begun which means many people are jumping into the confusing world of health, diets and nutrition. We, at the market, would like to take this opportunity to highlight a controversial product being sold on Saturday mornings-dairy.

We have long heard about the health benefits of dairy products. However, the milk we drink and the cheese we eat today is vastly different than 60 years ago. Until we standardized how we processed milk in the 1930s, food-borne illness caused by dairy (and other animal products) were more common than they are today. The milk that was causing these illnesses came from farms that looked more like factories and, in trying to keep up with industrialization, kept the cows closer together in dirty cages and used grain to feed them instead of grass. At the same time, our populations were growing and moving from the country into cities. The distance between us and milk grew but the self-life of milk did not increase until we started to use pasteurization.

Pasteurization is simply heating up the milk to kill the bacteria that causes it to spoil faster and spread a food borne illness. Pasteurization was first used in the production of alcohol but was eventually applied to milk. Milton Joseph Rosenou established the standards for milk pasteurization in the early 20th century. There is low-temp milk which is heated to 140 °F for 20 minutes, High-Temp, Short-Time (HTST) is heated to 161 °F for 15 seconds (this the industry standard) and Ultra-High Temp (UHT) which is heated to 284 °F for four seconds– at this point the milk is sterilized, not pasteurized, and kills everything in the milk.

While we need this kind of standardization at the industrial level because it is the only way for large dairy factories to keep profits up and milk safe, we lose the actual health benefits from milk processed in this way. When you drink conventional milk most nutrients have been added back in, there are no beneficial enzymes and all that is left is the hard to digest fat and proteins. You also have to worry about the over-use of antibiotics, which is quite common in any conventional animal product.
At this point, you might feel a bit frustrated. You want good, healthy dairy products but where do you go and how do know it’s safe? Look no further than the Waco Downtown Farmers Market!

Here at the market all our vendors and their products come from a 150-mile radius making everything as local as can be. So you can feel safe drinking low-temp milk, which still hangs on to the beneficial nutrients, enzymes and beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus unlike it pasteurized counterpart. Lucky for us, Richardson Farms has just started bringing low-temp milk to the market!

You can also find good cultured cheese at the Brazos Valley Cheese Shop. They make cheese the old way, by adding certain enzymes and bacteria to milk, which causes the milk’s primary proteins — caseins — to coagulate. The clumps that form are called curds, and the remaining liquid, called whey, is drained from the curds. When the whey is drained away so is much of the lactose. What little lactose is left in the cheese further diminishes as it ages. Yes, folks, if you are lactose intolerant you can eat aged, hard cheeses with no discomfort.

If all this concern about dairy has you worried about other animal products, there are also a number of vendors who sell grass fed, free range beef, pork, chicken and eggs. One of the best perks about shopping at the Farmers Market is that you can talk directly to the farmer and learn about every aspect of the product you are buying. So stop by the Waco Downtown Farmers Market this Saturday and celebrate being able to make healthier, more educated choices.

What’s In Season: October


Fall is officially in the air, Texas weather has cooled off to the more bearable 80s and 90s, and now is the time of year when the farmers market produce selection starts skyrocketing. You’ll find even more exciting delectable vegetables and fruits when you shop at the market during the month of October!


Arugula, Beets, Black Eyed Peas, Cantaloupe, Carrots (purple and orange)Sweet Corn, Cucumbers, Dates, Eggplant, Garlic, Greens (collards, swiss chard, kale, bok choy, mustard), Green Beans, Honeydew, Kohlrabi, Okra, Onions, Peppers (sweet and hot), Persimmons, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Shelling Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Squash (pattipan, yellow, acorn, butternut – summer and winter varieties), Watermelon, Zucchini