Friday, August 28, 2009

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair and the Best State Fair in the State.

I have mixed feelings about admitting my love for the Minnesota State Fair on this blog. In a way, it represents what my family and I have been moving away from: commercial agriculture, consumption of processed foods, etc. HowEVer: one runs the risk of turning one's nose too high in the air by missing out on this great Midwestern tradition. My family never went to the state fair when I was growing up in Wisconsin (nor did my husband's in North Carolina), so we experienced the "Great Minnesota Get-together" together for the first time a few years ago, and loved it. Sure, we eat too much. And of course, the agriculture we celebrate there is likely chock full of genetically modified ingredients. But I think there's something to be said about knowing where your food comes from, and appreciating it. And quite frankly, not all farmers can be organic farmers. It's expensive, and these fine men and women (and children!) are doing their best to make a living. When I see a farmer at the fair, I have this odd urge to salute. Or hug. Or just say "thanks for growing my food." Beyond all that, we're celebrating Minnesota, and local food. I don't know if our toddler will remember the experience, but we'll help him remember meeting his very first farm animals in person.

Now, if this isn't a true stay-at-home-mom-without-cable-TV confession, I don't know what is: I watch the local news only because it comes on after Oprah, and I just happen to leave the TV tuned to that station. *hanging head in shame* So, through my addiction to WCCO, I've learned about their "We Power" broadcasts, in which fairgoers can ride stationary bicycles to power the newscast. They're making other green efforts, too, and it's fun to see worlds collide in that way. And just a stone's throw from the deep-fried spam curds booth, you can toss your gnawed-up corn cob into a giant compost bin. I promise to be on the lookout for more environmentally friendly practices at this year's State Fair!

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