Health On A Stick

statefairOK, so “healthy” probably isn’t one of the first words that comes to mind when the Minnesota State Fair is mentioned.

New foods at this year’s fair, according to its website, include candied bacon donut sliders, cheesy french onion monkey bread, paneer on a spear, deep fried grilled cheese bites and SPAM curds.


In the midst of all of that, at the corner of Heartburn and Sugar Blues — no, make that the Education Building just north of Dan Patch Avenue on Cosgrove Street — you can find a booth operated by the Minnesota Department of Health. The theme is: “Where does good health start?”

I’m guessing they don’t think it starts with macaroni & cheese curds.

According to the health department’s news release about this, the focus is not as much about individual choices as about decisions we make as a community — such as building more bike paths, promoting affordable housing and encouraging paid family leave.

“We are fortunate in Minnesota to have a world-class healthcare system, but we also know that our health is about much more than what happens at the clinic or hospital,” said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the state’s health commissioner, in the news release.

If you visit the booth, they’ll offer you a hand fan and ask you to write on it — or draw a picture on it — about what you think your community needs to be healthy. Then you can hold up your message in their photo booth, snap photos, and share the photos on social media using the hashtag #mnhealthy.

The health department booth will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily during the fair, which opens on Thursday.




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