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The King of Foods

Several weeks back I jaunted over to our local public library to pillage the publically-funded DVD collection with little in mind, and even less else to do.  After browsing through the unmanageable labirynth of alphabetically arranged titles, I moved to the tried and true documentary section to see just what interesting topics awaited me on my continuous quest to figure out our world this weekend.

Luckily, I stumbled upon an interesting title and (because we have tendancies to judge the proverbial book by its cover) rented it on sheer impulse: King Corn.  

This documentary explored a number of impacts corn has throughout our society from diet and culture, to governmental control on the commodity and how a landmark decision from former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz to purposefully over-produce the crop has led to a total immersion of corn-based products in our food.  Corn-fed beef saturates our supermarkets and is actually less healthy for cows than their normal grass/wheat diet, and in turn, unhealthy for those consuming their meat.  Corn syrups, are found in almost EVERYTHING as a sweetener, and add a high number of empty calories to the foods and syrups they sweeten.  We chose to sell Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Flavored Syrups in our store for that very reason.  Sonoma uses pure cane sugar as a base and not high fructose corn syrups like almost all of their competitors like Torini, Monin, and Routin.  Corn syrup definitely isn’t better tasting or good for you (it actually is a pretty nasty concoction requiring sulfuric acid among other chemicals to process it), it’s just cheaper to use because we produce so much corn, which the U.S. government pays farmers to do ($9.4 billion dollar a year in government checks to corn farmers).

It was a pretty interesting investigation, the two boys buy an acre of land in Iowa and farm it in corn, showing the whole process of growing, harvesting, and selling the crop along with their experiences in a small-town in the midwest, just farming.  You can watch the film’s trailer here.

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