May is a pretty fantastic month. Spring has truly begun in the Midwest (I mean, I was raised to understand that winter CAN happen in April, and you’re silly if you’re surprised by it), the skies seem a little more blue, agriculture has awoken for the year.
There’s MANY reasons why May is a fantastic month. Now, I like a lot of months. In fact, all months have something to offer us. My sunshiney inner-optimist is all about how fantastic the whole year is! But, May is special. Why?
May is Beef Month.
Like red meat? So do I. In the top 20 situations where I am happiest, chances are 15-17 of them involve me somehow feeding my voracious inner-carnivore. I have lots of fond memories of eating beef with my family — whether it was beef from my uncle’s place, or calves that we finished ourselves, beef was a family affair in our family. My mom isn’t a big meat eater, but my dad was, and every single one of his kids inherited that gene.
But, beef is way bigger than just my family traditions and satiating my velociraptor-style cravings.
Here’s some facts to “beef up” your May Beef Month knowledge:
- Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota are the top beef producing states in the U.S., in that order
- There are 742,000 cow herds in the U.S.
- 90% of the cow herds in the U.S. have under 100 cows (next time someone says that small farms are dying out, you tell them this)
- Beef is rich in zinc, iron, and protein — in fact, when I know I’m going to be donating blood, I conscientiously eat more beef in the days leading up to offset my anemia (Beef: Saving Lives, One Pint of O+ at a Time!)
And, beef just keeps getting better. According to research done by leading beef sustainability expert Dr. Jude Capper, massive leaps and bounds have occurred in beef sustainability. Comparing 1977 to 2010, each pound of beef produced used:
- 10% less feed energy (i.e., the feed didn’t need to be as nutrient-dense)
- 20% less feedstuffs overall
- 30% less land
- 14% less water
- 9% less fossil fuel
- and there been an 18% decrease in carbon emissions.
To view the rest of the article, be sure to click the hyperlink about Dr. Capper! Thanks for being a rock star, Jude! And for more statistics and trivia about beef, check out BeefUSA.org — it’s a wellspring of information for all things beef!
May is also Egg Month.
Steak and eggs, anyone? Let’s stop and think about this for a moment: without eggs, what would we have? Eggs are in SO many types of food. Think about all the baked goods, pastas, omelets, skillets, scrambles, quiches, puddings, and much more you’d miss out on without eggs. And even if you’re of the sort that doesn’t partake in egg-tastic goodness, the existence of eggs has led to the creation of egg substitutes that lead to egg-free alternatives!
Eggs are a rich source of protein, and also offer potassium and Vitamin A!
And eggs are way more than food. Eggs products are used in adhesives, biological research, vaccines, and even artificial insemination. Egg shells are also incredibly useful for composting and fertilizing, and about a bajillion other things. It’s amazing to think of all the ways eggs impact our everyday life, and well-being.
May is also Birth Month.
This isn’t an official thing. Yet. But, my birthday is May 31. So I like to jokingly say that May is “31 Days of Kelly” and that I celebrate my own “birth month.” (I just like the anticipation of my birthday.) Honestly, with the walking hazard that I am, I think there’s a lot of folks who are pleasantly surprised (or not so pleasantly…I don’t know?) that I’ve survived this long.
In all seriousness, I feel like 23 will be a good year for me. 22 had been wonderful, definitely. I graduated from college, I moved to a new city, I adopted my Dachshund Rory and my cat Ferocious Fred, I found myself, I found my health, I learned to speak up about my struggles, I rediscovered God, I fostered some amazing relationships with fantastic friends, and I even met “someone special” who I’m sure will eventually make an appearance on this blog. (Spoiler alert: he’s awesome.)
22, you’ve been kind to me. And I’m going to do the best I can to enjoy my last month with you. 22 has been a year of self-discovery, adventure, and excitement. 22 has been the year when I’ve seen how happy I can truly be, even when handling some pretty daunting challenges at times. 22 has shown me that with the right support, the right mindset, and a lot of faith and prayer, I can handle anything. Even with a pretty hefty dose of stress, I’ve never been happier.
I look forward to much more growth and discovery in 23.
And in the meantime, you can bet I’ll be celebrating Birth Month with lots of beef, eggs, and plenty of other amazing things this world has to offer!
And I don’t think anyone’s surprised that I managed to talk about my birthday AND agriculture, all in one post.