For school, one of our assignments for Oriental Nutrition was to watch a food-related movie and I choose to “King Corn.” I had write a paper for it to give my thoughts, so I also wanted to post some facts about it on here. If you get a chance, go to Hulu and watch it! It’s very eye-opening.
The farmers never know the fate of their actual crops. An average acre of corn produces 10,000 lbs. Of that 32% is used for ethanol or is exported, 490 lbs. is used for sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, and over half of it (5,500 lbs.) is used in cattle feed. The corn that is used in the cattle feed is a by-product of ethanol. In previous generations, the cows spent most of their lives being able to graze, but they are currently in confinement. This allows them to move less so they gain weight quicker. Cattle are also given high doses of antibiotics to combat both the conditions of confinement and the acidosis due to their grain-based diet. A t-bone steak from a grain fed cow would have 9 grams of unsaturated fat, while a grass-fed cow would only have 1.5 grams of unsaturated fat. A typical hamburger is 65% fat.
Today, the average American spends 16-17% of their take home pay to feed themselves. This is the lowest percentage in history and we also need fewer of us to produce the food. In our great-grandparents generation, they spent twice as much. This is a day and age when abundance brings too much.
This was a very eye-opening documentary. These types of movies all are. Each time I watch them, I feel extreme frustration towards the nutritional crisis situation in America. There is such a gap between the financial aspects of high-powered food producers and what’s the best thing for Americans health. Clearly, we have not found the correct answer. The rate of disease and obesity is now higher than ever and it keeps increasing. The amount of additives and chemicals in our foods are poison, wrecking both physical havoc in the body as well as mental addictions to high fat and sugar products.
I wish that organic foods were the norm instead, even though they are significantly more expensive. I think we really need to get back to basics with the ethics of food producers before it’s really too late. I also think that people need to stop and think about what is actually going into their systems before they start eating.