Monday, June 21, 2010

Iowa Farmland - my humble opinions

It's been a few too many days since my last post, but in my defense I've been busy!  In fact, I visited my grandparents to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary with my family this past weekend, which was lots of fun :-).

On the drive to their home, my parents and I drove through miles and miles of Iowa farmland.  At first I was struck by the beauty of the lush green fields, the rolling hills of beans and corn, and the streams running through the valleys. 

But then I started to reflect more deeply on the landscape around me.  We (humans) made all of this.  It used to be rolling hills of prairie with wild deer, pheasants, rabbits, and many other animals.  Oh, many of those animals are still here, yet it is much more common to come across grazing cattle and feedlots.  Hmmm, that doesn't seem right to me....

I was just thinking: What made us think we had the right to so thoroughly transform the land to suit our nutritional needs more efficiently?  Why do we tear up the land and spray it with harmful chemicals that end up in our streams and rivers?

Well, I suppose the above actions allow us to feed the U.S. and the world...  but wait, almost all of the corn in the fields of Iowa goes to feed cattle, not people.  But the cattle feed people, right?  Yes, but is that really the most efficient way to feed our population?  I've heard from multiple sources that it actually takes more energy to produce meat than vegetables.  For instance, it is said to take "5,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of California beef, compared to 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat."  There are other facts, including the former, on this website.

Now, I'm not vegetarian, although I defnitely respect vegetarians, vegans, etc.  I believe that meat really does have some great nutritional value, but I also think that most Americans eat too much meat.  I'd personally rather eat local farm fresh eggs or venison than meat or eggs from the store.  Unfortunately, sometimes that is unfeasible with my current budget and location. 

DISCLAIMER: I am no nutritionist or such, and I definitely have a lot more to learn about our food and agricultural system.  I simply wanted to share my current views and see what others have to say.  I love the blogger community for its wide range of opinions.  I've learned so much since entering the blog world!

Well, that's enough of my personal opinions for today's post.  I'd love to post more of my thoughts at a later date though, especially if you're interested (which you may or may not be!).

How about a recent recipe experiement?

I made my first homemade laraballs, as can be seen on other blogs such as Healthy Exposures here!

My mix included homemade nutbutter (walnuts, almonds, and coconut oil) and dates.  And no, I didn't measure this time... just threw everything together into my food processor.  I think I may have added too many dates and not enough nutbutter, but it was great for a first try.  Maybe I'll use a real recipe next time ;-).

Hmmmm, they may not look super tasty, but they were pretty good :-).

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I'm hoping to write a few extra posts this week... we'll see how that goes :-).



  1. I am all about homemade larabars...I eat enough of them to merit an afternoon making my own. And I appreciated your thoughts on our natural landscape. It is amazing (and sad) to think what we've done to the natural world

  2. Oh my gosh, your Larabars look great! I am hoping to make some this weekend! I've been meaning to for MONTHS!


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