Although most folks think of corn as a vegetable, it’s actually a high starch grain. And you may be surprised to know that it has very little health benefit compared to other produce, which is why we don’t really eat much of it anymore in our house.
King Corn is a independent documentary film about the corn industry in America.
Here’s are some notes from the film mixed in with my research and comments:
For the first time in American history, our generation is at risk of having a shorter lifespan than our parents because of what we eat.
The filmmakers had their hair analyzed and found that the majority of the carbon in their hair and body came from one source:
You guessed it, Corn.
Corn is in everything we eat. And I’m not even talking about the obvious stuff like corn bread, corn flakes, corn muffins, and corn chips.
Food additives made from corn are used in almost all processed food. Some you’d recognize are: corn meal, corn starch, corn flour, corn protein, corn oil, and high fructose corn syrup.
High Fructose Corn Syrup has replaced sugar as the number one sweetener because it’s cheaper and sweeter. It’s in soft drinks, fruit juice, and almost everything sweet like cookies and candy; and it’s horrible for your health.
High Fructose Corn Syrup raises blood sugar rapidly and is also converted to fat in your body faster than any form of sugar.
Which is why it’s no surprise that it’s been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and cancer. High fructose corn syrup is worse in liquid form.
One of the single greatest health changes you can make is to stop drinking sugary drinks like sodas and juice.
True story: My accountant lost a bunch of weight a few years back and I asked him what he did. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I stopped drinking Cokes.” Literally, that’s all he did. Coke was the only soft drink he ever drank and he drank it everyday. If I remember right he lost over 30 lbs in just a few months.
86% of all corn produced in the U.S. is genetically modified. Yet another reason to steer clear of it.
So why exactly is corn in everything?
Because it’s cheap. The cheaper and junkier the food, the more corn you’ll find in it, because corn is a key ingredient in cheap food.
Most of the corn grown today is not edible in the general sense. It is a high starch variety that tastes horrible. You can’t eat it. It is specifically grown to be processed.
32% of corn produced is converted to ethanol
18% is for food additives
50% of the corn grown is fed to animals raised to be slaughtered for meat
Here are some more food additives that often come from corn:
Baking powder, Calcium lactate, Calcium stearate, Caramel, Confectioners Sugar, Dextrin, Dextrose, Glucose, Glycerine, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, Lactic acid, Lecithin, Linolic Acid, Malt, Maltodextrin, MSG, Polysorbates, Potassium gluconate, Propylene Glycol monostearate, Sodium ascorbate or other ascorbates,
Sodium-, Magnesium-, Calcium- or Potassium-fumarate, alpha-Tocopherol (vitamin E) , Sorbitol, Starch, Sucrose, Vanilla Extract.
Think that’s alot? Those are just the ones I thought you might recognize. There’s a super long list here.
Corn additives are also in cosmetics, body care, toothpaste, and medications.
Anhydrous Ammonia is the main fertilizer for commercially grown corn.
Most corn is genetically modified to survive being sprayed with pesticides, which kills weeds, insects, and bacteria. These pesticides are toxic to humans and traces can be found on the produce.
This next part is really crazy to me.
The U.S. government used to pay farmers not to grow corn.
Now the government actually pays them to grow too much corn.
The filmmakers, with the assistance of professional farmers, actually plant and harvest an acre of corn.
They did everything right and had a large harvest. When they go to sell the corn, they discover that the money they receive is less than their cost of production, which means they didn’t make a profit. Theirs was not an isolated incident. This is normal.
Every season corn farmers lose money on the corn they harvest and sell.
The government has various subsidy payment programs that not only make up the loss, but also pay over and above the cost of production, and that’s where corn farmers make their money.
Cows are fed a diet that’s mostly corn because it’s cheap and it fattens them up quick. Growing a cow used to take 4-5 years; now they do it in 14 months. Cows do not naturally eat corn, they eat grass.
This corn-based diet is highly acidic and wreaks havoc on their digestive system. It lowers the cows internal pH causing acidosis, which is fatal to the cattle. The longer they are on a corn based diet, the sicker they get. During their life they are constantly loaded up with several types of antibiotics to help prevent bacterial infections caused by acidosis and the unsanitary conditions of feedlots.
A feedlot with 100,000 cattle produces as much waste as a city of 1.7 million people, which is why 70% of antibiotics produced today are fed to livestock.
“Corn-fed Beef” sounds good right? It’s not.
When you eat this meat, you’re really eating corn.
65% of the calories in ground beef from corn-fed cows comes from fat.
Which reminds me of a fast-food chain in California called Fatburger. Exactly.
But it’s not just burgers. A T-bone steak from a corn-fed cow has nearly 9 times more saturated fat than a T-bone steak from a grass-fed cow. This is not healthy meat. The same applies to commercially raised fish, chicken, and pork. You feed an animal an unhealthy diet, and they produce unhealthy meat.
Which is why we only eat organic grass-fed beef…a lot more on that in a future blog post. So subscribe to my blog already!
One last note: If you have a chronic health condition, it could be related to an undiagnosed corn allergy that’s exacerbated by overexposure to corn. You may want to google “corn allergy”.
Check out a video clip of King Corn here
And if you haven’t yet, you really need to see Food, Inc.
Post your corny comments below! (that was wrong)