Like many of you, I’m planning to spend more time at home this summer. One of the unexpected benefits is that I’m getting to know my neighbors and community better.

I look forward to saying hello to the mailman every morning, enjoying my neighbor’s blooming yard and watching the kids next door chase after their new puppy.

And on sunny days when everyone is outside, I can catch the delicious smell of backyard barbecues. Because if we’re all going to stay home, we might as well eat what we love.

Fortunately, eating our favorite healthy foods also benefits our immunity. In this issue of the Iowa Dish, we talk to an Iowa State University nutrition expert about how a balanced diet, including protein-rich meat and poultry, can benefit our immune system.

And in this time of uncertainty, Iowa food banks are stepping up to respond to the rising demand for food assistance. Learn how you can join Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Feed the Need” campaign to help fellow Iowans who are struggling with food insecurity.

In addition, we look at efforts by Iowa farmers, communities and government agencies to build wetlands in the state. Wetlands not only add beauty and provide habitat for wildlife, but they also help advance Iowa’s water quality goals.

We know you have lots of questions about the health and safety of your food right now. Our goal is to provide the information you need to help make food choices. If you have specific questions about a healthy diet and how your food is grown and raised, feel free to contact me. We may feature your question in a future issue of the Iowa Dish.

Until next time, enjoy your summer and your backyard barbecues. And stay healthy.


Teresa Bjork
Editor, The Iowa Dish

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