VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Social Sciences POSTED ON: 5/22/2010
[Michael Pollan], who is interviewed in King Corn, describes the prevalence of the crop in the fast-food industry. "If you take a McDonald's meal, you don't realize it when you eat it, but you're eating corn. Beef has been corn-fed. Soda is corn. Even the french fries," Pollan explains. "So when you're at McDonald's, you're eating Iowa food. Everything on your plate is corn."Though they are told it is impossible to follow their acre of genetically modified, pesticide-drenched corn once it is ground to pulp, [Curt Ellis] and [Ian Cheney] know that much of Iowa's crop ends up as high-fructose corn syrup in New York City. So they head east and meet a Brooklyn cab driver who reels off health problems he and his family have suffered from their soda addiction-diabetes, obesity, early death from heart disease. The cabbie, himself a reformed soda addict, explains that after quitting the "candy water," he lost more than 100 pounds.Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, recently told the Los Angeles Times, "Farm bills always favor the status quo when they're rushed. This gives us some time to educate people." Reformists' changes to the current bill include increased funding for food stamps and for nutritious food distributed through government-funded school lunches. King Corn usefully complements these efforts to rein in giant agribusiness and to reevaluate Washington's food policy.
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