Eat, Corn, Love

Days are getting longer and warmer in Ithaca, and I’m getting antsy for the food of summer.  Especially fresh delicious corn!  The United States is the largest producer and exporter of corn, with about 80 million acres planted. But only about 12% is for “food, seed and industrial uses.”  About 45% is used for “feed and residual uses” while 43% goes toward “alcohol for fuel use.”  Let’s break that down.

I’m assuming that fresh market corn that I can buy at the food co-op or at the farmer’s market is part of the “feed, seed and industrial uses.” And “industrial uses” refers to the processing of corn for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), beverage alcohol, corn cereal, and corn meal.  Processing is not inherently bad, I would never get Flax Plus granola cereal without some kind of food processing plant.  But when HFCS starts showing up in foods that might not need it (spinach dip) I get a little more than just concerned.  Especially because research shows that HFCS is linked to our current obesity epidemic.  Countering the debate, are the silly little clips revealing the extremely biased “facts” about HFCS.  They make me want to tear my eyes out.

How does corn go from being this:

to this:

For more information, which is definitely biased in my direction, I would recommend watching King Corn.  It’s a cute, informative documentary about two friends who are trying to understand where our food comes from.

And to top if all off, even these bees are as inundated with HFCS as we are!

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