“Wet markets” have been implicated in multiple zoonotic outbreaks, including COVID-19. They are also a conduit for legal and illegal trade in wildlife, which threatens thousands of species. Yet wet markets supply food to millions of people around the world, and differ drastically in their physical composition, the goods they sell, and the subsequent risks they pose. As such, policymakers need to know how to target their actions to efficiently safeguard human health and biodiversity without depriving people of ready access to food. This video summarizes research disaggregating what wet markets actually are, how they differ from wildlife and live-animal markets, and how one might assess the dimensions and levels of risk that different types of wet markets pose to people and to biodiversity.