Anytime a friend or family member finds something in the news loosely related to North Dakota or the Midwest, the articles are quickly sent my way. I am the token Midwesterner… not that I am upset about that. In fact, some of my favorite reading material has come from such e-mails. The other day, a friend in Boston forwarded me an article from NYTimes.com that was published earlier this week. “Meatless in the Midwest” the headline read. I knew immediately this would be one of those great articles where I think, “Oh my gosh! I know, right?!”
If you are familiar with my blog, you know my only complaint about North Dakota, other than the tricky weather and bird-sized mosquitoes, is the lack of fresh produce. While I am not a vegetarian, I could be. In fact, when I lived in Washington State the year after I graduated from undergrad, meat was a rarity in my apartment. Instead of beef burgers I grilled portobello mushroom burgers, instead of chicken stir-fry I ate broccoli stir-fry, and nothing tasted more delicious than fresh avocado on… well… anything.
However, as soon as I rolled into the Midwest, my nearly meatless lifestyle was left behind. Meat is a part of the lifestyle here. If there isn’t meat as the main dish, there is either meat sprinkled on top, meat as a side dish or it’s been made with meat fat. There are two main reasons for this:
1. It takes a lot of effort, gasoline and speed to ship in fresh produce from warmer regions of the world.
2. You can’t last through a Midwest winter by eating salads.
I know my situation could be a lot worse. While I still try to eat as organic and free range as possible, I don’t have any issues with eating meat. Vegetables are just a preference. At least I’m not a vegetarian. How would you even survive? This NY Times article answered just that. Enjoy!
DINING & WINE | January 11, 2012
De Gustibus: Meatless in the Midwest: A Tale of Survival
By A. G. SULZBERGER
For vegetarians in the meat-loving heartland, eating can be a constant struggle.