Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Documentary Review: King Corn

I've been on a documentary kick lately, partially because I've run out of Dr. Who episodes to watch and partially because I crave learning something new.

King Corn was made by two guys just out of college who wanted to know what happened to corn?  They planted an acre of corn in Greene, Iowa to see where the corn goes.

What fascinated and astounded me about this documentary was just what America uses corn for.  We put corn in EVERYTHING, primarily because corn is used to make high fructose corn syrup, as well as eating corn fed beef.  We used to eat corn with a greater protein content but after decades of genetic modification we now eat corn that is treated to resist certain weed killers, etc.

What I am taking away from this is a greater awareness of what the beef is fed that I eat.  I'm not going to give up beef, but if I can afford to purchase grass-fed beef I'm going to do that.  Typical, cheap beef is fed cheap feed, which in this day and age, is corn because it is cheaper to produce than say, grass or wheat.  Add into that how quickly farmers want to get their beef to a sale-able weight, so they feed their cattle corn, and you have stationary cattle who will die after being fed corn after 160 days.  Cattle are meant to eat grass and the majority of cattle today is being kept in a pen, quite stationary ("Contained" is the term) and fed corn to get to a weight that is best for slaughter and sale in a short amount of time.
Grass fed cattle are allowed to range thereby using their muscles and producing a better, leaner type of meat.

I already know how much HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is in things like soda and juice and I made a commitment long ago to choose things that are actually sweetened by sugar or natural fruit juices.  Americans have a diabetes epidemic because of our consumption of HFCS.  Although now many stores and food products are turning away from HFCS, it's still not quite enough to change the problem.

What you should do is watch this documentary.  Think about what your meat has been fed and if you can make a change, do so.  Think about what you drink.  Think about what you are putting into your body and do not eat blindly.  Eat with thought and purpose.

Alright, I'm getting off the corn soap box.  If you have comments or discussion I welcome it gladly.  Please keep remarks polite.  I agree to disagree and I encourage you to do the same.


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