on September 28, 2010
King Corn although rather long, it is worth every second. It starts with two young men having their `hair' tests showing they have a high level of `corn' in their system. When they both decide to find out why, even though they don't `eat' corn directly, this corn is in their system leads them on an adventure to find out why. They start by planting their own crop of corn and then try to track `where the corn they planted' lands up. At first I was getting tired of the film but BE PATIENT because in the middle of the film, things start to become VERY clear. Corn has taken over the STATES and replaced grass land and wheat crops. Cattle and pigs are forced to eat `corn' to put on weight even though it creates serious health problems for them. When you see what this `cheap' corn has done to our food and how it has crept into everything we eat, the film clearly shows how `disillusioned' these young men become. Big business and government subsidies has made corn a major industry where cheap and high return trumps `health'. You see the results of their discovery on their faces- a must watch!
Basic presentation is the purchase of an acre of land in Greene, Iowa for the production of corn and to watch were the corn goes.
We see how corn has been genetic lay altered for better or worse. There are two sides to genetic and we only see one. Our presenters spit their Cornell thing you taste like chalk. But I can go down to the local store and pioneer of corn peel back the leaves, removed some of the silk, and munch away. In fact I use it many times just as a meal.
We learn how to make corn syrup in the kitchen sink. We find this corn syrup in the soda we drink. However the argument that they bring up against corn syrup can easily be turned in to an argument against sugar. Speaking of sugar with a little bit of research you can find versions of Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper made with real sugar. And it will easily pass the blind taste test. Coca-Cola knowing that people could tell the difference pulled the real thing off the market replacing it with New Coke and when all the sugar drinks for off the market replace them with corn syrup with the misnomer of Classic Coke. If you switch to Izze esque you just get 50 calories of fruit juice.
There is a small reference to ethanol which is being used as an excuse to raise the price of corn in food. We all know that we can get cheaper sugar from other countries and make cheaper ethanol and lower the price of corn to make cheaper foods.
There are some vulgar scenes of reaching into cow stomachs that you may want to fast forward through. However in the process they make you understand that too much corn is not that good for cows and cows full of corn are not good for people. And again they forget to tell you with a little research you can find grass fed meat. You might also find Buffalo more to your liking then cows.
This film does not tell us anything we do not already know. But it can be overwhelming to see it all in one film. The presentation written by Aaron Woolf, Ian Cheney, Curt Ellis and Jeffery K. Miller, seems to lose focus now and then; it is part documentary, part mockumentary and par "who do you think you are?" This film is still worth watching but every once in a while you wonder if they know for whom they are making it.
What I find fascinating about this presentation is that years ago we used to say we were eating oil as that is what the fertilizer is made of that we use to make corn and lose some of the energy on the way.
I always wonder if films like this ever change things or if they are ever viewed by the people that created this monstrosity? It is like watching the bad guy and not realizing they are talking about you.
For people interested in the media the pictures are crisp the background music does not drowned out the speakers. There are the standard Bonus Materials as carrying their corn to the Chicago Board of Trade. Subsides are explained in Washington. And so on.
This film appeared before Food, Inc. but didn't get as much attention for some reason. But through its focus on corn (heavily subsidized in the US), and the health fallout from its domination of the food industry, it tells pretty much the same story of corporate greed and its consequences. You should see at least one of these films if you want a little insight into where your food comes from. Both films have excellent extra features on the DVD, too. King Corn is a bit lighter and perhaps doesn't give as much information about "what you can do" as Food Inc. But it also covers its chosen topic (corn, and its main uses as beef cattle feed and source of high fructose corn syrup) in more depth than the other film, so the ideal would be to see both. If enough people see either film, perhaps the epidemic of obesity and diabetes can be reversed, and family farms will start to recover from their near-extinction by factory farms. This could also help to turn climate change around.