We had the opportunity to visit Loreto, Mexico in January. Besides enjoying some sun and heat as a welcome change from Oregon's rain, we visited the local farmers market. Right in a dried-up river bed (very useful when the local rainfall averages less than 5 inches per year), vendors sold vegetables, watches, clothes, pirated DVDs and CDs, meats, and cheese. The market was a stark contrast to the US, where most markets regulate what vendors sell, where they sell, and how they sell. The market seemed to operate in a state of controlled chaos and the only thing bringing order to the system was the earnest desire of everyone to get at the areas primary supply of fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheese.
The quality of some of the products was excellent and some of the products mediocre. The chicken, for instance, was not great and I had a suspicion it was a Foster Farms product imported from the States. On the other hand, much of the fruit was locally grown, as was the beef, which was excellent.
I was awed by the display on the meat table where all cuts were displayed raw on the table. What a difference from the States but also what a difference to be in a place where everyone goes to the farmers market and there are so many more people involved in the food system.