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King Corn

21 Mar

Did anything in this film surprise you ? Disturb you ? Inspire you ?

Something in this film that surprised me and disturbed me was the evolution of farms and the transition from fruits and vegetables to corn . These days farms are not even farms. Farms before ( 1970’s and past) were all about raising healthy fruits and vegetables. Working on a farm or owning one was because they were passionate about it. They loved doing it. Now a days the government pays the farmer and makes them grow as much corn as they can . They have now turned farms into land that is used to grow corn. A WHOLE LOT OF CORN! So much corn that acres and acres are bought just to grow corn. Nearly 80,000,000 acres are used just for growing corn and we (U.S)  nearly produce 11.2 BILLION bushels per year. That’s more than 1 bushel for every single person on this planet. And that’s just the U.S. alone. The whole world produces about 690,668,292 TONS of corn every year. Corn these days has taken over the food industry. Nearly everything that is processed has trace of corn. Forget about processed food even beef and other farm animals are fed corn. There so much corn that the price of corn gets cheaper and cheaper. So cheap that farmers feed their livestock corn because it cost less. However the cows must pay a high price. They start to get sick, gain weight at a very rapid rate, have shorter lifespans. Something that inspired me was to grow food on a farm. I just found it really cool to see the food you eat grow right in front of your eyes. Growing food on a farm for me would be like “turning back the clock ” because my grandparents and great grandparents were raised on a farm. It would be amazing to have a 1900s or even 1800s experience in the 21st century.

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.

King Corn – By Muhsin

21 Mar

Muhsin Mahfooz

1)Did anything in this film surprise you? 2) Disturb you? 3)Inspire you?

1- It surprised me that Ian and Curt got $28 just for starting to plant corn crops. The government literally pays you for planting corn. That’s the first time I heard of getting paid to grow crops. I also was surprised that so much of our food is made of corn that we don’t even realize it. Its surprises me that most of these corn growers are people whose parents and ancestors that also grew corn. Its a family business passed down. From watching this movie, its so much easier to grow corn with all the technology advancements that have developed. It’s surprising how fast the corn grows now. It’s surprising that all 7,000 acres of corn that’s grown in Colorado is all fed to the cattle. It’s surprising that the feed-lot worker in the movie was actually right, America wants cheap meat. The farmers are doing what the consumers want. They could have all grass fed beef but that would be expensive and would take long to harvest, so that’s not what most of America is looking for.

2- It disturbed me how most of the meat we eat come from animals that are fed corn. I In their natural habitat, cows eat grass, but now are fed corn so that they grow faster. I learned that its all about profit, the fastest way to get money in the pockets. All the animals are put in tight areas clumped together so that they walk less and gain weight fast, not caring about the animals. Its pure cruelty.  It disturbs me that having corn in everything we eat is really bad for us, a lot of people don’t know about this and need to be educated about it. It disturbs me that back in the day, the farmers grew food for themselves. Now the irony is that an Iowa farmer cant feed himself with the corn crops he grows. Corn is very bad for the cattle, feeding them corn is basically killing them slowly, its very bad for them. If they didn’t slaughter them, they would die in 6 months regardless from taking in all that corn. Its disgusting that the animals are fed what there not supposed to eat and on top of that are given antibiotics so they wouldn’t get sick.

3- This movie inspired me to actually look at the ingredients and try and make healthy choices at times because when do most of us teens actually care about whats in the ingredients? I could care less before, but now I will try choosing foods that are better for me because at the end of the day, we are what we eat. It disturbs me how they spray ammonia onto the corn to grow faster and fuller. In my opinion, that is so unnatural. Its inspiring to me that if I ever have cattle that I have to feed, I would taste test them both. I would have one that I feed all corn and then I would have one that I feed all grass, which is what they would naturally eat. I want to see that if there is an actual taste between them both too? I feel pretty sure that i will taste a major difference between the 2 meats, that the grass fed cattle would be better.

Pineapple’s Challenge

14 May

Since we had so many thoughts about what we are going to cook, it was really hard to come up with two choices. By the end we came up we two perfect ideas, for the main course it was shrimps with pineapple and for the desert it was piña colada. The idea of making shrimps with pineapple was really sensational, I have never heard that there is might be such of thing but we decide to cook it. To be honest it wasn’t really hard to cook it, but mostly I hated the cleaning part I don’t like cleaning shrimps, but I like to eat them more. Honestly, even though we didn’t win the Iron Chef but still we had a great experience of coming up with foods that we were going to cook and actually cooking them as a group.

Lafayette Educational Pizzeria

28 Feb

Last week my team and I were given the task of making homemade pizza from scratch. On Thursday, we prepared the ingredients for the pizza dough. We used flour, olive oil, warm water and yeast to make the dough rise. We let the dough do its thing overnight and let it rise.  By the time Friday came around, our dough was excellent — nice and fluffy!  Our next step was to make the tomato sauce. I must say for a sauce that was made in such a short time and with limited resources, it came out delicious.  My classmates did an outstanding job!  Next, we just had to spread the sauce onto our already rolled out dough, add the cheese and throw those bad boys into the oven. After about 5-10 minutes, a class of hungry young teenagers devoured those pies and went home after last period happy.

America: A Waster’s Paradise

28 Feb

America is one of the countries that wastes the most food in the world right now. The average consumer wastes around two hundred pounds of food a year — that’s almost enough to fill a football stadium!  Bakeries and other food establishments waste food everyday because the food is not bought the day they are made and the consumer looks for quality and perfection. The wasted food is equivalent to losing around $15,000 a year. Convenience stores throw out 40% of their food because of “best if by…” dates or bruises on fruits and vegetables. We consult these dates to tell us when things become rotten, but they were made to say when those things would taste the best. Butchers have to throw away perfectly good chickens because of a broken wing.  Since the consumer looks for perfection, not broken wings, the consumer thinks of the chicken as sick or diseased before it is slaughtered. Eggs are not always as perfect as you see them in the supermarket. Farmers trash 5,000,000 eggs a year because they came out a different size than fits the cartons. Fish mongers cannot sell some fish because of bruises or ripped meat, and that leads to major waste. Every fish caught cannot be absolutely perfect.

There are people that save some of this food. They are called freegans and they go dumpster diving. There was one video on the Food Network where a freegan found perfectly good fruits and vegetables in a garbage bag, and that shows how much good, fresh food is wasted in a week or a day in a supermarket. To end waste and maybe send this food to a good cause, we should just stop looking for perfection. I don’t mean buying a fully rotten fruit or vegetable, but I mean we can take a bruised or blemished organic product and not have a problem.

‘ The Big Waste ‘

28 Feb

Americans waste over 200 pounds of food per day . Bakeries lose over $15,000 on food that they throw out per year. Usually,they throw out the food because of how it looks. How many tons of food do convenience stores throw out per year?  Over 40% of their food is being thrown out. People won’t buy chickens that have bruises, so all that food has to be thrown away by stores. Because items have bruises or something doesn’t mean anything. As long as it’s not too bad and rotten, we can still cook it. Eggs are also wasted in America.  A lot of eggs have to be thrown away because because farmers cannot sell eggs that are bigger or smaller than the normal size.  Over five million eggs are been thrown away per year because of this.  Also fish is thrown away because it has bruises.  Farmers and store-owners don’t want to sell food that is almost bad or has bruises on it because they know costumers might not buy it, even if they’re fresh. In my opinion, the people in the stores should give us the food that they’re going to throw away. WE HAVE TO STOP OWNERS FROM THROWING THE FOOD AWAY!