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A Snapshot of Food Served at the MN. State Fair

In Minnesota where I live, almost 2 million people attend the Minnesota State Fair each summer. And the main attraction for most is, of course, the FOOD. People wait all year long to taste their favorites: Pronto Pups, pizza on a stick, deep fried candy bars, deep friend pickles, deep fried Oreo cookies, deep fried nachos supreme, deep fried falafels, deep fried French Fries and onion rings, deep friend spam curds and cheese curds, BBQ chicken, BBQ shrimp taco, candied bacon donut sliders, spam filled sushi, cotton candy, iron range meatloaf and potatoes, burnt pork butt ends, soda pop in every flavor and sweets, such as Martha’s Cookies, to name several fair favorites.

The Obese Are Eating Fair Food

The sad thing about these food offerings is that, many of the people eating them (including adults, teenagers, and even young children), are morbidly obese. Some of the people eating them appear to be a normal weight, but there’s no doubt in my mind, that they are probably oblivious to the fact that what they are eating was prepared from highly processed food ingredients, not to mention food ingredients obtained through a less than eco-conscious agricultural system. .

Is Fair Food ‘Abused’ Food? (Food for Thought)

When I ask the question: "Is fair food abused food", ---I mean to ask if the animals in the foods served at the fairgrounds were sourced from disease ridden factories? Were they fed poorly, treated inhumanely, and inoculated with drugs and hormones? Did their production stress animals and the environment?

I also mean to ask the question: Were the fruits and veggies in the food served at the fair sourced from seeds that were genetically modified? Were they doused with toxic pesticides and gassed before they were shipped?

What I’ve Eaten at the Fair, Is Also Questionable

The healthiest foods offered at the Fair are few and far between. They are the foods that I’ve given myself permission to sample over the years, including corn on the cob, guacamole and chips, gluten-free baked goods, lemonade kombuchi, egg burritos, fish soft tacos, frozen yogurt, fruit smoothies, and cream puffs made with real whip cream. Yet even the ingredients contained within these food offerings are suspect.

For instance, did the fish tacos that my husband and I relished (so tasty when topped with cabbage, chutney, avocado and dressing!), use fish that was shipped from China? If they did, its likely their fish stocks were fed raw sewage. It's likely they were doctored with food coloring and freeze-packed with carbon monoxide before being shipped to the US.

Did the sweet tasting whip cream in our cream puffs come from a cow that was fed drugs and hormones? And furthermore, did these substances, (excreted in the cow's waste), end up in our nations' rivers, lakes and streams?

Where My Mind Wanders, When I Walk the Fairgrounds

Where my mind wanders to when I walk the Minnesota Fairgrounds, is not a place that I imagine most fair-goers minds wander to. While most people go the fair to have a fun, carefree time and indulge in as many foods as their taste buds will allow) I find myself taking inventory of where mainstream humanity appears to be at in terms of its health and environmental awareness.While it's possible that the state fair is not the best place to go to get a totally accurate reading on where humanity's awareness is at, (because millions of people worldwide have been slowly waking up to the necessity of farming green and eating clean, I'm still keeping my gingers crossed that more people twill join the clean food movement and make a pledge to lighten their ecological footprint!

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Candia Lea Cole

Founder of Eco-Learning Legacies

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