One of the last great events of summer, the Iowa State Fair, is finally here, and I’ve made a list of all the new fair foods I plan to try this year.

At the top of my list is the new turkey taco from the Turkey Grill, just steps away from Farm Bureau Park at the Iowa State Fair. In this issue of the Iowa Dish, we tell you the backstory of how Iowa turkey farmers came up with the idea for their new menu item, which is in the running for this year’s best new fair food contest.

Fortunately, many of the foods on the menu at the Turkey Grill, including the turkey taco, are on the healthy fair food list. Last year at the fair, I met a Farm Bureau member who had lost over 20 pounds. He was tracking his steps at the fair with his Fitbit and avoiding the fried foods. We’re offering tips on how to eat healthier at the state fair, if that’s your goal.

While you’re at the fair, stop by Farm Bureau Park to learn about the many ways that farmers are working to protect the environment and water quality here in Iowa. You can also learn more about Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative in this issue.

In addition, we’re sharing the winning recipe from the 2015 Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest at the Iowa State Fair. This year’s cookout contest will take place Tuesday, Aug. 16 on the Grand Concourse, and it always draws a crowd of fairgoers looking for free samples of the finalists’ recipes.

Also, you may have heard about the new national labeling law that will help consumers identify foods made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. We break down the basics of the law. However, don’t expect to see the food labels anytime soon. The law gives the U.S. Department of Agriculture two years to work out the details.

If you have any questions about GMO foods, or just want to share what your favorite food is at the Iowa State Fair, send me an email, and we may discuss it in a future issue of the Iowa Dish. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Teresa Bjork
Editor, The Iowa Dish

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