I feel as though I should start this rant out with “Hold my beer”…
Corn. I’ve talked about it before. It is basically what America stands for. Corn as far as the eye can see. I HIGHLY suggest everyone read this book: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. This book has changed the way I look at food. Hell, it’s changed the way I do damn near everything and I’m not even finished reading it yet! Pollen follows the life cycle of corn from seed to plant, from cow to plate and explains how the whole system works. A system that I feel I was happier being ignorant about. A system my husband probably felt happier knowing little about because now I scan every product that goes in to our cart and shopping takes twice as long.
Pollen, buys a cow, cow #534, and follows him from birth to feedlot. I had no idea that cows only live about 18 months before they are sent to slaughter. The pen that housed 534 was about the size of a hockey rink with a concrete feed bunk and a fresh water tank out back. He noticed that 534s eyes were bloodshot but that was because of the dust of feces that flies through the air. The farmers typically spray it down with water to keep it out of the air. Cow 534 will convert thirty-two pounds of feed (corn) into four pounds of gain (muscle, fat, and bone) which means that this is inefficient to other animals we eat such as chicken. Chicken will need to eat only two pounds of feed and it will convert that to one pound of mass and this my friends, is why chicken costs less than beef at the grocery store.
Guess what? Cows are not natural corn eaters. We force them to eat corn because we produce SO much of it. It is cheaper for a cow to eat corn than it is to put them in a pasture and feed on a natural diet of grass. Because cows aren’t supposed to eat corn, they get sick and actually get GERD and because GERD is as painful for them as it is for us, they eat dirt which then makes them sick. So what happens when you get sick? You get an antibiotic. So, they get a healthy dose of antibiotic regardless if they are sick or not and that passes from their feces to the ground, to our drinking water. It also stays in their body. Guess what? If a cow ate grass, this would eliminate the chance of E. Coli by 80%. EIGHTY PERCENT PEOPLE!!!!
So, poor 534 is eating corn. What else happens to the corn that ISNT fed to the cows? It gets moved to another type of mill, a wet mill, where it is converted into multiple different compounds which are then put in to processed foods. The following items are all made from corn: Citric and lactic acid; glucose, fructose, and maltodextrin; ethanol (for booze as well as cars), sorbitol, mannitol, and xanthan gum; modified and unmodified starches; as well as dextrins and cyclodextrins and MSG. This is just the tip of the corn-berg (iceberg didn’t really work there). Every single part of the corn is used and nothing is wasted, not even the water. If you think this is a great idea, I can tell you it is not. For every calorie of processed food, it takes another 10 calories of fossil fuel to make it happen. I don’t know what a calorie of fossil fuel looks like, but Pollen does a great job of making it sounds bad so I’m going with that.
If you look at it the way Big Business wants us to, this makes sense. We cant grow corn all year ‘round and we need to be able to feed millions of people. How could we possibly do this only a few months out of the year and have enough land? But corn is the key product in fruit juice, Tang, Cheeze Whiz, and Cool Whip. Say what now? You will be hard pressed to find a food that doesn’t have some form of corn or soybean in it and the longer the label, the more forms of it will be present. Wonder why people are so sick? Wonder why people need to be gluten free? Wonder why kids have ADHD and why it “didn’t exist” in the 80’s? Why do Tyson and General Mills have “food scientists”? CORN. And this isn’t the stuff you eat off the cob. That corn only represents 2% of the corn grown in the Midwest. Field corn is force fed to cows, making the cows grow three times faster than they would in natural conditions. Then, the excess corn is taken to a factory and squeezed until it makes other compounds that can be put in other food products.
This stuff isn’t natural. Why take a perfectly natural product and change the way God made it so it can be processed. High Fructose CORN syrup?! Corn is now all-of-a-sudden as sweet as sugar and a hell of a lot cheaper to produce. We are getting fat because its cheap. We are getting fat because corn is the number one food product in America. Corn.
I feel like I could just go on and on about this. I probably could for about 415 pages because that is the length of Pollens book. I just cannot get over the fact that none of this makes any sense at all! If we just stepped back and looked at the actual process, we would see this is the most messed up nonsense there is! Why mass produce a product that makes us sick? I hate to seem like a conspiracy theorist but I said it last week…Monsanto, Cargill, and even the USDA , is in this for money and they will do whatever it takes to make it look like they have our best interest at heart. Their only interest is lining their bank accounts and making America sick and we are too dumb or too lazy to do anything about it. Sorry. That got harsh at the end.
Also, this has NOTHING to do with my rant/blog but, because I went on SO long, I figure you deserve something funny. I just cant even with this meme: