For “Foodie Friday”:
“When Ian Cheney and his best friend Curt Ellis graduated from college they thought they were done with professors and they supposed to feel like they had their whole lives ahead of them, but they just heard some rather disconcerting news. Some day they were going to die, and maybe sooner than they thought. For the first time in American history their generation was at risk of having a shorter lifespan than their parents. And it was because of what they ate.
So they started to keep track of what they were eating. But they found they needed help making sense of their data.
Hair is a continuous recorder, it’s a tape recorder of diet.
The food that becomes part of your diet will eventually find its way to your hair. So they analyzed their hair and the conclusion was that the carbon in their bodies really originates from corn. We’re talking about the corn that’s been used as material (high fructose corn syrup), which is going into the foods that we use ubiquitously. We also feed animals with corn and that gets turned into their biomass that we consume.
Ian and Curt had grown up on the coast but for some reason they felt drawn to the Midwest. Maybe it was because a long time before there was corn in their hair, there was corn in their genes. By an incredible coincidence Ian and Curt each had a great grandfather in the same tiny county in rural Iowa. Three generations after their great grandparents left they were moving back, to find out how an acre of corn could get from a field in Iowa into their hair.”
PBS King Corn, Extended Clip
King Corn documentary film trailer
“Americans are so “corny” because almost every product in conventional grocery stores – from steaks to chicken breasts to condiments to desserts to tomato sauce to frozen entrees (the list goes on) – is ultimately derived from corn, either in the form of high fructose corn syrup or from corn-based animal feed. The filmmakers visit cattle feedlots which hold thousands of animals dining on corn-based feed, and learn that too much corn causes the cattle to eventually develop an acidic condition in one of their stomachs, acidosis, that eventually kills them.
After the somewhat shocking discovery about their bodily composition, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move to a small county in Iowa where, coincidentally, both had farmer great-grandfathers, in order to find out how they and most other Americans were “made out of corn.”
The two friends convince an Iowa farmer to lend them an acre of land to plant their crop. They purchase genetically modified corn for planting, and with the help of their neighbors, some heavy machinery, and lots of chemical fertilizers and herbicides, they end up growing a bumper crop.
But as Ian and Curt show us, this isn’t your sweet summer corn-on-the-cob we're talking about – it’s corn bred specifically for industrial applications. The two friends decide to find out what happens to the corn they've grown after it leaves the grain elevator, and find that tracing their crop is easier said than done. Ultimately, however, they come to the conclusion that their corn is likely destined for one of two American industries: animal feed or corn syrup.”
A Conversation with "King Corn" Filmmaker, Part 1:
“A conversation with filmmaker Curt Ellis about his new documentary "King Corn", the film that may open eyes across America. Surprisingly, corn is present in some form or another, in almost everything on the American plate. And, none more so, than through the food ingredient "high fructose corn syrup" (HFCS). Is it a good idea to have "HFCS" present in so many of our foods without prior public debate, or adequate science to measure its impact on the long-term health of adults, and especially our children? Should our standard meals be unnaturally skewed toward a corn based diet, in the first place?”
A Conversation with 'King Corn' Filmmaker: Part 2
Conversation with King Corn Filmmaker Curt Ellis: Part 3
Farming today is not what we may imagine it to be. It's become largely an industrial process, and corn epitomizes this shift in production methods.
King Corn—The Subsidized Crop That Drives Our Fast-Food Nation
“King Corn follows two college buddies as they set out to learn more about corn—how it’s grown, and how it ends up in so many of our foods. What they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm
Far from providing us with critical nutrition, US agricultural policies contribute to the declining health of Americans and worsens the out-of-control obesity epidemic
The US farm subsidy program is completely upside down, subsidizing junk food in one federal office, while across the hall another department is funding an anti-obesity campaign
Over the past 15 years, taxpayers have paid corn farmers more than $77 billion in subsidies, and more than 75 percent of farm subsidies are paid to a mere 10 percent of America’s farmers
Making matters worse, the vast majority of American-grown corn is also genetically engineered (GE) to produce Bt toxin (a pesticide that kills bugs by making their stomachs explode), which is then consumed by you.” Complete article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/07/king-corn-documentary.aspx
The High Fructose Corn Syrup Conspiracy - CBN.com
“The government helped make corn syrup a big hit with manufacturers and consumers. But should moms buy a product laden with it? CBN News investigates the conspiracy of High Fructose Corn Syrup.”
On This day:
U.S. officials defend use of defoliants, Sep 20, 1968:
“U.S. military spokesmen defend the use of defoliants in Vietnam at a news conference in Saigon, claiming that the use of the agents in selected areas of South Vietnam had neither appreciably altered the country's ecology, nor produced any harmful effects on human or animal life.
U.S. Army Huey helicopter spraying Agent Orange over Vietnamese agricultural land
However, a paper released at the same news conference by Dr. Fred T. Shirley, a U.S. Agriculture Department expert, suggested that U.S. officials in Saigon were underestimating the extent of ecological damage caused in Vietnam by defoliating agents and that they had caused "undeniable ecological damage" and that "recovery may take a long time." Defoliation had been used in Vietnam since 1961 to reduce the dense jungle foliage so communist forces could not use it for cover, as well as to deny the enemy use of crops needed for subsistence.
Beginning in the late 1970s, Vietnam veterans began to cite the herbicides, especially Agent Orange, as the cause of health problems ranging from skin rashes to cancer and birth defects in their children. Similar problems, including an abnormally high incidence of miscarriages and congenital malformations, have been reported among the Vietnamese people who lived in the areas where the defoliate agents were used.”
From me: The evil Monsanto company who puts Round-Up in our food crops, is also the company which manufactured Agent Orange (dioxin), DDT and Aspartame sweetener. In 2010, Swiss research firm Covalence released its annual ranking of the overall ethical performance of 581 multinational corporations. Monsanto company was ranked the worst. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto
“When dioxin contaminated material spread on a Missouri farm in 1971, hundreds of birds, 11 cats, 4 dogs and 43 horses died.
In 1978 the EPA suspended spraying Agent Orange in national forests, due to increases in miscarriages in women living near forests that had been sprayed.
In 1979, 47 railroad workers were exposed to PCBs including dioxin in Missouri when cleaning up a spillage from a damaged tank car that had been filled with these chemicals. All were followed medically for six years. Their initial complaints included fatigue and muscle aches. Two committed suicide.” From: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/agentorange032102.cfm
Misty and I went down to Jay’s to pick him up for shopping day. We had postponed our shopping day until Thursday, as I had a doctor appointment at 11.00am. As I didn’t know if they would be taking blood for a cholesterol test, I put up with black coffee and water.
While we were gone, Ray came over for a short while and did a couple of odd jobs, but it looked like it was going to rain, so he didn’t stay long.
Jay and I stopped at St. Marks thrift shop, and even though they had ladies summer tops on sale for 50 cents, I didn’t buy anything. Jay bought a couple of shirts and three pairs of work shoes.
Then a stop at BestBuy to return a cordless phone, and quick look at their clearance items on the way to the clinic.
My insurance company had sent my PCP some questions, so that’s why she wanted to see me. The nurse took my BP, and said it was good. The questions were quite straight forward. When did I last have a mammogram, colonoscopy, had I had a heart attack, etc. Her assistant, probably an intern, listened to my chest and looked in my ears. My doctor called in a prescription for wax in one of my ears. She also said that if the swelling didn’t go down on my left knee soon, that she would drain it.
She pronounced me in good shape, and sent me to the vampire in the Lab to check my cholesterol and vitamin D level. Jay amused himself by watching the tropical fish in their lovely big aquarium. For once, we didn’t spend too long at the clinic, probably because Thursday is their least busy day.
We went to Lowes to get more white paint and caulk for the porch and house, plus a good cup of free coffee with fixing's at the contractor’s desk. We are well known there, after all these years.
Jay wanted to eat out, so we went to Denny’s and shared a Grand Slam made of hash browns, wheat pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon. Next stop was Petsmart to get Misty some organic canned food to mix with her home-cooked organic chicken, beef or bison.
We went through a lot of rain, but it had hardly rained here and had cleared by the time we got to our local Kroger’s pharmacy. We took umbrellas in with us, just in case the rain was coming this way, but didn’t need them. The pharmacy didn’t even have the prescription yet, so I’ll pick it up another day.