Thursday, January 15, 2009

King Corn

“For the first time in American history, our generation was at
risk of having a shorter lifespan than our parents. And it was
because of what we ate.”
Curt Ellis, KING CORN filmmaker
“If you’re standing in a field in Iowa, there’s an immense amount of food being grown, none of it edible. The commodity corn, nobody can eat. It must be processed before we can eat it. It’s a raw material—it’s a feedstock for all these other processes. And the irony is that an Iowa farmer can no longer feed himself.”
Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma

My husband and I recently watched the documentary King Corn. It wasn't the best documentary we've ever seen, but it's worth watching.

The filmmakers, two friends from Boston, move to Iowa to grow an acre of corn. After harvest their goal is to follow corn into America's food system. What they discover is the sad truth about corn-fed beef, high fructose corn syrup and the state of America's health.

A lot of the information was stuff I've heard or read before in books like The Omnivore's Dilemma, but most of it was new and fascinating to my husband. It really got him thinking about what he eats (at least for a few minutes after the movie but we'll see if it sticks). He actually went straight to the fridge to check things out. The the only thing he found with high fructose corn syrup was the 7up he uses for cocktails when entertaining. (A proud moment for me considering I was the Coca-Cola & Junk Food Queen all through high school, college and several years after. It makes me cringe to think about all the crap I use to eat on a regular basis.)

There's some great information on the King Corn website as well - information about the film, the Farm Bill and what you can do, both for the state of our nation's health (writing your congressperson) and for your own personal health (changing the way you eat).

Michael Pollan, my author-crush, had a few guest appearances in the movie too. Love that man.

No comments: