Last night I watched King Corn, a documentary on the corn industry. Not your local farmers market, mouthwatering, dripping with butter corn, but industrial grown corn that feeds cows, is a major ingredient in soda, and every other product that lines the shelves at your local supermarket. The film follows two recent college graduates who move to Iowa, grow an acre of corn, and then attempt to track where it ends up. Along the way they drive through CornDonalds, enjoy hamburgers (their fave food), interview scientists, a corn refinery association representative, a former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, and other experts. Despite the fact that the film's thesis is a critique (corn syrup is in EVERYTHING and it's not good for you), it all unfolds without judgment and with an affectionate nod to the Iowan farmer, who seem to understand that their industry has gone to heck.
As one farmer says, "Americans want and demand cheap food." He is right. Our problem is that we either cannot spend the money (because we don't have it) or won't because we don't think that we should be spending $5.00 on farmers market eggs when you can get them at the supermarket for $1.89.
After I watched the movie I went through my cabinets trying to figure out how much corn syrup I had consumed that day. It wasn't that bad, but I found corn syrup in a few of my jars and cans, including my second favorite condiment ketchup (there was no corn syrup in my Trader's Joe's fancy mustard, which is my favorite condiment).
King Corn was way better than Super Size Me, which at times felt too contrived to really make you think.