It's from Iowa, specifically my hometown. A long, long time ago in a place normally seen only through dirty, eerily flimsy-appearing plastic portholes on airplanes flying overhead by people from the coveted coasts, there lay a lot of land ready to be slathered in cow shit.
So they did, and then they slaughtered the cows and packaged the meat in the kinds of enormous factories that fascinated Upton Sinclair. Once the steaks were safely ensconced in their paper sheathes, they were shipped to the east.
No one knew exactly what Iowa or the other midwest states were. Maybe they were afraid to ask. If even the idea of the fantasy farmland came up in conversation, denizens of the decadent cities would say, "Oh, you mean where the meat comes from?"