I drove to northern Iowa for a wedding and back over the weekend. Here’s a brief summary: corn, corn, soybeans and more corn.
My brother and I zoomed past endless rows of tightly packed commodities, punctuated by classic white farm houses and red barns that looked like they had popped right out of our childhood story books.
Our cousin got married in a small farming community on a lake. It was quaint and beautiful and the sunny weather could not have been more lovely.
Ironically, however, the restaurant menus in this farm town were lacking in fresh food. I mean that as an observation, not a complaint—it was a good reminder that the farm-to-table/slow food movements still have a long way to go. In my daily life, I surround myself with people, restaurants and websites that also appreciate fresh cooking, so travel experiences always provide requisite jolts of reality.
In town with my parents for lunch, I skimmed past an iceberg salad topped with ranch dressing on an otherwise meaty menu. I was relieved to find a grilled cheese sandwich listed under the kids menu on the back side. I welcome an excuse to eat a classic grilled cheese sandwich, but I just can’t imagine feeling well if I ate from those menus every day. My dad related the experience to the small Oklahoma town where I was born. (He always comes back home craving fresh flavors.)