FOOD JOURNEY: Learning Where It’s Produced

A city girl is getting a taste of the farm life and you can follow along. A Des Moines blogger started touring central Iowa farms this spring. You can join her journey.

Cattle and kids are typical sights on Justin Rowe’s Dallas Center farm. He says, “This farm here has been in the family over 100 years. It’s a century farm.”

But, a camera crew is something new. The Rowes recently welcomed Kristin Porter to their farm, but you may know her as “Iowa Girl Eats.” That’s the name of the blog she writes four to five days a week featuring fresh recipes. More than 1.5 million people follow her posts.

This spring she teamed up with the Iowa Food and Family Project for a new initiative called Join My Journey. Porter says, “I have lived in Des Moines my entire life, and driven by farms just like this and have just never really had any idea what goes on here.”

The mom-to-be is learning. So far, she’s hopped in a tractor, shopped the farmers’ market and milked a cow. Porter says, “Each farm, each commodity group we visit, I’ve learned so much, and it’s really neat to learn all that it takes to get to the grocery store and know what goes on to produce a dozen eggs or the steak I’m buying for a barbeque.”

The purpose of Join My Journey is to get a taste of what life is like on the farm and share where food comes from. Porter says, “I’ve always been concerned about feeding the best product to my husband and myself, but becoming a mom, I’m more concerned more than ever about food safety, healthy food. I’ve just learned farmers in Iowa are more concerned more than anyone about producing a safe and healthy product.”

Rowe says, “People are so removed from the farms. We need to explain how we care for our animals and what we do.

The Iowa Food and Family Project sets up the tours. The group of farmers, processors, nutritionists and retailers formed in 2011 to raise awareness about farming and food.

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