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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

King Corn Movie Review

This movie has been in my Netflix watch it now queue for months but I just haven’t had the time to watch it. Marisa and I finally set some time aside for a date last week and watched this documentary. I thought it was really good but I would recommend forgoing the popcorn while watching it.

If you have read the book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma “by Michael Pollan the overall feel of this movie will be very familiar. The makers of the film show that a vast quantity of what we eat in America is corn, mainly from corn syrup and corn fed animals. It is an entertaining journey that gives us a view of small town America, farming, and where our food comes from.

Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis are two friends from Boston that decide to farm an acre of corn in Iowa and then track how the corn is disseminated through our food supply. They show that the corn they grow is essentially inedible and can only be made into a food-like product through extensive processing. A discussion is made into the evils of corn syrup and it’s empty calories, as well as the evils of the feedlots that feed their animal a diet of mainly corn which is then passed on to us when we eat meat.

In my opinion, this movie was more educational entertainment than propaganda. I consider this to be a good thing. Some might consider the movie makers to be biased against modern food practices, but I feel that this bias is presented with facts and numbers, and less on emotional hype.

Like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” I don’t feel that a thorough discussion is made about the economics behind our food supply. I think most of us would agree that we would like to be healthier, but there is an economic impact made by this decision. Changing our food supply is a lot more complicated than just wanting it to be different. We need it to make economical sense.

I think this movie is a great movie and I hope more people watch it. It has instilled in me a stronger desire to eat healthier and to take a stand against some of the unhealthy practices in our food supply. How do we take a stand? Make it economical. Stop buying non-food products that are disguised as food. Sacrifice a little of your income to buy grass fed beef or natural foods. In addition to this, and even more importantly, do what you can to create your own food supply. Whether it’s a small garden or a large property with grass fed cows, anything we do will make a difference. This movie increased my desire to have a bigger property where I can raise my own livestock the right way. In the mean time I am trying to find other ideas to eat better and to change our purchasing habits. There are a lot of ideas on our website on becoming more self-sufficient.

What are you doing to create your own food supply?


Dale Johnson said...

Great review. Have you seen the movie Food Inc. yet? Also the movie Botany of Desire is very interesting.

I like your comment "create your own food supply" I think setting a goal to produce a certain percentage of the diet is very motivating whether it be 10%, 20%, or more. Or setting a goal to produce so many meals a week during the growing season.

I hope you and Marissa can get a bigger property sometime so you can start producing meat. LeAnn and I felt very lucky to be able to get a small farm the year that Allen, our oldest started high school. That way all of our children had the opportunity of more extensive backyard farming.

We are really thinking about getting a couple of steers next year. With the broilers that we raise, we would then be producing almost all of our own meat.

Wendy said...

I loved this movie. I thought it was very well done, and it was both informative and entertaining.

For me, though, it was preachin' to the choir, as I've already made the shift. We grow a garden, raise some of our own meat, keep chickens and ducks for eggs, eschew anything that has more than six ingredients, shop at the farmer's market or local farm stands, and strongly support our local dairy farmers.

I completely agree with you in that the change will come only when more people make the conscious decision to buy "natural."

tonksfam said...

Sounds very interesting! (Sorry, no, you don't know me. I'm a blog stalker who happened along a while back and have been reading but not commenting.)

We live very close to the downtown of our city, so we have limited property, but we're doing what we can. We've torn up a large chunk of our front yard (we have no back yard) and turned it into a very artistic squarefoot garden. Also, I have fibromyalgia, which, we found, gets worse if I eat processed and chemically based foods, and especially food with high-fructose corn syrup. My husband loves to cook, so we use as many raw ingredients as we can. Hardly anything is ever bought in a box or can.

Unfortunately, our city has a no-farm-animal policy. We'd love to have our own chickens. But by living this way we hardly have to drive anywhere, so it's a trade.

Cyn said...

Thanks for sharing! I knew there was a reason that after growing up on a farm and being gone from the farm for 32 years, I purchased a farm this past summer. Have already started planning my garden for the spring.