By Jessica Domel

I love milk. I love ice cream and, quite possibly more than anything, I love cheese. The kicker is, they don’t love me. You see, I’m lactose intolerant, and some days it’s one of the most frustrating things about me. I see other people who voluntarily give up these things and think, “You don’t know how good you have it.”

The other day, I posted something on Facebook about how gross a cheese-less pizza I ordered was. Friends I’ve known forever commented they felt my pain because they too couldn’t eat dairy. I had no idea. We bonded over our common affliction.

Then, another friend commented she has Celiac disease and cannot have gluten. No bread? I don’t know what I’d do. I love bread. I love pasta.

Friends and family members joined my conversation, and we began discussing our love for the little things like being able to have lemons in iced tea, enjoying spaghetti and ordering a normal pizza.

All of our stories were different, but one thing remained the same. We were all working within our diets to find ways to be healthy and enjoy other foods we love.

Luckily for us, there are farmers and ranchers across our nation willing to grow and raise a wide variety of meats, fruits and vegetables to satisfy our diets.

Hats off to you soybean farmers for helping me quench my cravings for cheese pizza. And thanks dairy farmers, for raising the Holsteins and Jerseys that make the wonderful products I reminisce about daily.