I was in Iowa a week ago, driving through acres upon acres of genetically modified Corn. The scenery rarely changes except for a few. One of them being the Amana Colonies. These colonies were once an experiment in communal living. The experiment was not all that successful but it is does make for an interesting stop. You still get to see parts of their history and taste the local harvest. I walked into a small wine shop with the idea of buying a local red wine. To my surprise, I found wine made from Dandelions! I was amused to say the least. Why so? Let me explain...
To many in the US, Dandelions invoke a sense of rage and disgust. Dandelions can be very persistent and are the perfect survivors. They can quickly turn a green lawn into a blooming yellow. Every one in American suburbia is a conformist when it comes to their lawns. There seems to be an unwritten law that mandates every house have well maintained square patches of green grass. In the front, in the back and every where around. Dandelions are unwelcome here. People go to any lengths to get rid of them. It is no surprise that there thrives a million dollar industry in the business of killing Dandelions!
Here are some scary facts. [via Organic Consumers Association]
# 67 million pounds of pesticides are applied to roughly 30 million acres of lawns in the U.S. each year.The moment I saw the wine, I knew I had to taste it. I tasted it and I bought myself a bottle. It is very sweet and makes for an interesting sip after any meal!
# The #1 most water intensive crop in the United States is lawn grass. The average lawn is doused with 10,000 gallons of water each year (in addition to rainfall).
# Synthetic fertilizers run off into streets and local waterways, choking aquatic life and polluting our water.
# The EPA estimates that a mower emits as much pollution in one hour as a car emits in driving 20 miles.
# Numerous studies have linked common household herbicides and pesticides to asthma, cancer, reduced fertility and neurological harm to fetuses, infants and children.