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Thinking More Deeply About the Food We Eat

21 Mar

“King Corn” is a film made by two Yale graduates, Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis. They return to the rural country in Iowa and film the sources behind our food production. Surprisingly, most of our food products contains corn, whether it’s McDonalds, steak, canned foods, and even in our hair products. When thinking about farms or farming, what usually comes to my mind is a peaceful scenario of a man feeding his hens with rice, cows with grass, and pigs with grain. However, much to my surprise, most animals are fed with CORN! In fact, for the last 35 years most of our generation has only had corn-fed beef.  Why? So America can produce cheaper meat, which is connected to the rise of obesity in America.  Corn is replaced as the regular diet food for all animals, specifically cows. In fact, cattle are placed in cattle boxes which will limit their movement so they could gain more weight. It’s horrendous, but it’s true. As more meat is being produced, the cost of meat decreases and it all depends on the harvesting large amounts of corn. So is corn to blame for the unhealthy eating habits of Americans? There’s no real answer to this question however, I will offer my two cents on this topic. My answer: Cheap food availability. We live in a century where our homeland’s food system has expanded tremendously to provide for all the neighbors around the block. Not only that,  but junk food cost less and less each year while the cost of fruits and vegetable skyrocket out the chart. Fast food chains are expanding all around (McDonald, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc.) and  their food is cheaper and who wouldn’t save the extra money in the economy of today? To be fair, I will definitely pay more for food that was grown or raised in more healthy ways for people and/for the environment. Eating cheap junk food became a bad lifestyle for the past generations and it’s all fueled by bad decisions. Sometimes, it can’t be helped  based on financial issues since healthier food tends to cost more but it will definitely be the best choice.