Tag Archives: food systems

King Corn

21 Mar

In the documentary King Corn, Curt and Ian had traveled around the country to see how much corn Americans really consume and how much its unhealthy for us. What surprised me the most in this film was how much corn we actually consume in our daily lives. All processed foods are made with corn. Even the meat that we cook is fed with mostly corn. Animals are forced to eat corn to gain weight and get fat and be slaughtered and sold to a local market near you. However, the average American spends a smaller percentage of their income on food than ever before in American history. Food is cheaper. Even parents who have low income jobs can now afford to feed a family of four with their salary. But what does it matter if the food isn’t healthy? In my opinion, if Americans would have to pay more just to have a healthier diet , that’s a price they would just have to pay. I would like the government to spend my tax dollars on food that wouldn’t kill me in the long run.

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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.

King Corn

5 Mar

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

It surprised me that corn is in everything even things like soda. They use corn as a sweetener and they feed it to cows instead of what they’re supposed to eat which is grass.

-Prior to viewing KING CORN, what image(s) came to mind when someone mentioned farms or farming? Did what you saw confirm or challenge that image? What did you learn from the film about current farming practices?

When I think of  farming I think of a few chickens running around, a couple cows, and a couple pigs. I think of a big red house and a white picket fence and the farmer has a relationship with his animals. What I saw was a bunch of cows all shoved into one area. It didn’t look like they had space to walk around and they pooped right on top of each other. The farmers didn’t really care for their animals all they care for is their profit.

Corn corn corn and corn!!!

13 Dec

How many of you guys know that most of the food we eat nowadays are made of corn?

The current farm practices and policies are not producing healthy food for American today. Why? Actually I really don’t understand it at all. The government gives money to the farms for them grow corn and then make corn into many different kinds of goods. Resulting many food we eat today are related to corn, such as corn syrup, corn starch, and even gums have corn in it. Comparing corn-made products to those organic and locally grow food, it’s no doubt that the organic and locally grow food have more nutrients than those corn-made food. That’s why I don’t understand why the government will have this policy that to grow lots of corn. I really don’t understand.

So, who is the responsible to change the system? Consumers? Farmers? Legislators? Food companies? Food retailers? Or the health professionals?

To me, I think all of them listed above have the responsibility to change the system. First, I really recommend those group of consumers to think twice before they are going to buy something to eat. It’s because we are what we eat. They have to understand what ingredients that the food contains and to know whether this food is good or bad to our body. If consumers start to think twice before they are going to buy something to eat. I’m sure there will be a huge change in the food market. Besides, for the farmers, although I understand they are ordered by the government and received money from them in order to grow corn. But I just think that can they grow food other than corn? If there is a farmer start to grow organic food other than corn, maybe other farmers will follow, too! If they grow more local food, they can provide Americans more healthy food, and the price of those local healthy food won’t be that high due to the supply and demand problem. After that, more people will choose to buy them because they are cheaper than before while they are much more healthier. For the legislators, because they have power to pass the policy and so thy must have the power to replace this policy. And this policy is so bad that harmful to all Americans. I’m sure that they can change it. For the food companies, I understand that they want to make money. And after they earned money, they want to earn more and more money. People never satisfy with the money! If the food company consider twice about whether the food is good to the public or not before they are going to sell them, most of the Americans won’t suffer obesity. I think the food company do have responsibility to sell food which are not harmful to the public health. And the food retailers need to sell more healthy food to the customers, too! And I suggest that if they lower the price of those local and organic food, there will be more people willing to buy them. It’s because lower price of food always attract people to buy them. Also, I think they need to get more different kinds of healthy food from the suppliers such that they can sell them to the public. This help to make Americans more healthy. Lastly, I think that the health professionals need to start educating or teaching the children how to choose healthy food to eat and get rid of those unhealthy junk food by holding a talk show or some  presentations. This can help our next generations to have a basic concept on the healthy food issue and can help them to have a healthier body!

KING CORN

6 Dec

DO YOU THINK YOU WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU EAT?

I believe I will eat the same way I do now but with a little more concern and thought into what I am eating and putting into my body because after watching the video king corn i learned a lot about high fructose corn syrup. high fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made by processing corn syrup to increase the level of fructose, usually to between 42% and 55% of the total sugar, with the balance being glucose. It is used extensively as a sweetener in processed foods and soft drinks, particularly soda and baked goods, but it is included also in many foods not normally thought of as sweet foods. after learning more in dept about high fructose corn syrup I now know it’s not good for my health. since then its a habit for me  to now look at the ingredients labeled on everything food related. I check to see if high fructose corn syrup is labeled and if so I always think of how many times I drank or ate that product not knowing the consequences it has upon my health later in life. high fructose corn syrup can cause a lot of health/death risks such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and/or liver failure. at times i start to question myself when im at stores, I wonder how many pounds I must have been putting on from this one product?, is this pack of oreos going to push my health over the edge?, ect these question made me change how I eat little by little. I try to eat more fruits and less junk.   what I eat affects me and my future so I try to be more cautious on what I put into my body and try to make healthier choices so I could have a future.