Is the price we pay for food really worth the impacts it will have on our life in the future? I think it’s a question more Americans should be asking themselves as they cue in line for a meal at the drive-thru or pull in to the local convenience store as they nab 44-ounces of carbonated diabetic bliss iced in a Styrofoam cup.
If more Americans took the time to learn about how their food is made they would inevitably make smarter choices. King Corn, a documentary highlighting the amazing influence corn has on our daily lives, is just another wake up call for people to change the way they think about the means in which they fuel their body. I’m left wondering why a product that is nutritionally void for humans, deadly to the animals that eat it and is worth next to nothing on the open market is so beloved by our federal government.
As the harvest ramps up here in southwestern Indiana, more and more fields of Number 2 corn are meeting the combine this week. I’m glad I watched the film King Corn, the brainchild of two college buddies, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis. It has given me a new perspective on a harvest process that I used to think was quaint and steeped in tradition but now I know is anything but. According to the Environmental Working Group, more than $50 Billion has been paid to subsidize corn farmers in the past decade. Between 2003 and 2005, 66% of those subsidies only went to 10% of our farmers.
The Global Development and Environmental Institute in a report titled Industrial Livestock Companies’ Gains from Low Feed Prices showed just how far those grain subsidies stretch in our food system. Between 1997 and 2005, the industrial broiler chicken industry saved $11.25 Billion and the industrial hog industry saved $8.5 Billion from the very farm bill policies that keep corn and soybean prices below the price of production.
King Corn goes on to show the dramatic rise in human consumption of high-fructose corn syrup over the past three decades and the severe health consequences we as Americans now face because of it. I highly recommend this documentary to anyone interested in learning the impacts brought about by what you might think is just a quaint field of corn.
If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the DVD:
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