Sunday, December 9, 2007

King Corn

I went and saw King Corn at the Oak Street yesterday and enjoyed it (aside from me being uncomfortably cold throughout). It's a documentary about 2 guys from Boston who move to Iowa for a year to raise an acre of corn and see where that corn goes. The film is very informative and well made.

If you're not aware, Americans eat corn in virtually every processed food, and the type of corn most grown is virtually unless processed into something like high-fructose corn syrup.

Cattle used to graze on grass, but it would take them a couple years to fatten up enough to be sent to slaughter, so farmers began confining them in small spaces (they can't get any exercise to burn off the calories) and feeding them as much corn as they can handle. This greatly reduced the amount of time required to fatten up a cow. Veterinarians are quoted in the film saying that if beef cattle weren't slaughtered at the end of their first year on the feed lot, many of them would die as their corn diet gives them ulcers and other stomach ailments.

This Time article also talks about some of the benefits of grass fed beef versus corn fed.

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