“For the first time in American history, our generation was at risk of having a shorter lifespan than our parents. And it was because of what we ate.”
If you've wanted to read Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, and didn't have the time to spend reading it--do yourself a favor & watch this enormously engrossing entertaining "Cliff Notes" version of Pollan's award-winning book. It's only 90 minutes long!
My husband was a little skeptical when I brought this film home, but we were hooked from the start!
I may never again let corn-fed beef or chicken pass my lips. Grass-fed, yes. Corn-fed, no. And finding grass-fed anything is near impossible these days!
I don't want to spoil any of the surprises, but just to let you know---the road to our industrial food supply fiasco began somewhere around 1908 with the Nobel Prize winning invention of nitrogen fertilizer. Fast forward to 1973 and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz comes up with a well-intentioned plan to stop paying farmers to not plant--and to start subsidizing them to grow as much corn as they can. And the rest is a story you won't read in a history book. The Law of Unintended Consequences!
"Behind America’s dollar hamburgers and 72-ounce sodas is a key ingredient that quietly fuels our fast-food nation: corn. In KING CORN , recent college graduates Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis leave the east coast for rural Iowa, where they decide to grow an acre of the nation’s most powerful crop.
Alarmed by signs of America’s bulging waistlines, the filmmakers
arrive in the Midwest enthusiastic about their new endeavor. For their
farm-to-be, they choose a tiny town in Floyd, County, Iowa—a place
that, coincidentally, both Ian and Curt’s great-grandfathers called
home three generations ago. They lease an acre of land from a skeptical
landlord, fill out a pile of paperwork to sign up for subsidies and
discover the U.S. government will pay them 28 dollars for their acre.
Ian and Curt start the spring by injecting ammonia fertilizer, which
promises to increase crop production four-fold. Then it’s planting
time. With a rented high-tech tractor, they set 31,000 seeds in the
ground in just 18 minutes. Their corn has also been genetically
modified for another yield-increasing characteristic: herbicide
resistance. When the seedlings sprout from Iowa’s black dirt, Ian and
Curt apply a powerful herbicide to ensure that only their corn will
thrive on their acre......" Read more about the film on the PBS Independent Lens Web Site
You'll find the film at Netflix, some public libraries (but not many), and on the Independent Lens of PBS.
Ian Cheney & Curt Ellis are a charming refreshing departure from the attack-dog style of Michael Moore. Their moms must be awfully proud of them!