Food Grown in Idaho


Idaho is a growing and diverse state with all kinds of people living within its borders and all kinds of new and interesting things going on in that same area. It has boundless and beautiful wildernesses, large and advanced technology companies, and some of the best outdoor recreation you can find on the planet, but this is probably not what Idaho is really known for (At least outside of the state). Idaho is still an agricultural powerhouse in the United States and abroad and that is probably not going to change for a long time. A large part of the country relies on the food and the other agricultural products that come out of the state to survive and live comfortably. But what exactly is coming out of Idaho? What are the major products that the world needs to keep on turning which the Gem State provides? There are some obvious answers that you know I am going to get into, but potatoes are not the only thing coming out of Idaho. There is so much more and a lot of it is probably going to surprise. Take a feast on the food explosion reaction that is constantly occurring in Idaho and learn a little more about what the state has going on.

So yeah, Idaho makes a whole lot of potatoes. You can find Idaho’s potatoes and potato products pretty much everywhere you search for them. If you head to the grocery store, craving something to put in an advanced salad or with your pork chops, you are probably going to find something that either originated in Idaho or the has the Idaho stamp of approval. The potato might not have gotten its start in Idaho (It is hard to say when Idaho first had a real potato plant growing, but South America is the birthplace of the potato as far as we know) but it certainly got perfected in the Gem State. There is even a museum dedicated to Idaho and the potato. As should come as no surprise, it is called the Idaho Potato Museum and can be found in Blackfoot, Idaho, a town nestled in between Pocatello and Idaho Falls. The number of potatoes grown in Idaho has given the state a reputation for pretty much only having potatoes. It is a bit of running joke in other parts of the United States, though I personally think Idaho should be proud of this tradition. Potatoes are delicious, and no one makes better potatoes than Idaho.

However, while the Idaho potato market is massive, it's dairy market is even larger. Sometimes people joke about how a place has more cows than people. Well, in Idaho that is literally the truth, but not by much. The ratio is just under 1 to 1, with Idaho having a few hundred thousand more cows than potatoes. So, what does this mean? Idaho produces more meat and dairy products than most other states. There is so much milk, cheese, beef, and other cattle-related products coming out of Idaho that you have probably eaten quite a few meals that involved cows that came from Idaho. Idaho makes hundreds of millions of dollars every year on its dairy product and the farmers who are producing those dairy products (Though it is really the cows doing the producing) collectively make even more than that. And dairy in Idaho is quite the business. You have probably heard about the various controversies surrounding the dairy industry in the United States as a whole and the size and efficiency of these operations, but it is not really possible to imagine the sheer size of a dairy farm in the modern day. Thousands and thousands of cows can be found on each form, and those are generally not the largest of them.

Now, if you are an Idahoan or know about Idaho’s state products, you probably know a fair bit about how popular dairy and the potato are in Idaho. What you might not be aware of is the flourishing alcohol industry in Idaho. Beer and wine have gone through a surprising renaissance in the state with wine vineyards dotting the Idaho landscape in growing numbers and fields upon fields of hops feeding a craft beer movement that is stronger than in most other places. Quite a few Idahoans really like their beer and wine and are not content to be stuck with the mass-produced swill that most other people will settle for. It is going to be harder to experience this new trend from an Idaho perspective if you are outside the state, but anyone who visits Boise (Or many other cities in the state) can tour the bars to find some really quality beers or head out into the country for a wine tasting. Probably the most surprising part of this is that Idaho wines are competing in international competitions against regions that have been known for their wine for hundreds of years and the Idaho wines are coming out on top.

Lastly, I want to cover some of the reasons why is Idaho so great for growing different kinds of food and agricultural products. One of the first major contributions to the power of the Idaho agricultural industry is all of the flatlands in the south of the state. If you have ever driven along I-84 and its tributary roads you have probably witnessed field after field on terrain that extends out to the point where vision fails. Idaho has a lot of varied terrains, but it also has a whole lot of flat terrain too. Of course, all of the flat land in the world will not matter at all if the soil is night right to support certain kinds of plant life, and that is one of the other places Idaho excels. Because of the state’s volcanic history, the soil is basically perfect for growing the different kinds of things that Idaho grows. All in all, it is a state that seems purpose-built for growing and cultivating food.

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