one man's ceiling
Saturday, March 10, 2007
  question of the week: is corn edible?
or, as is said in our house, eat-able?

seriously, now, let's think about this. if you swallow a coin (as my brothers often did when they were small) you could count on them coming out the other end just as undigested as can be. seems only natural that anything we pass through our digestive tracts in roughly the same shape as it started is probably something we weren't designed to eat.

you would think, eh?

but we all know about corn. it just keeps coming to mind when i think about what we, as humans, really should be eating. after all, corn is what's fed to beef and pork to fatten them for market, but on their own these are not food these animals would seek out on their own. corn is also the leading cause of illness in cattle, it's what requires them to be fed a diet of antibiotics, it's the feed that separates it from grass-fed (i.e. naturally raised) beef. if it's not good for cows why is it considered good for us?

okay, bad analogy. chocolate is bad for dogs but for humans... well, it can be pretty bad for some humans as well. topic for another day.

the questions is remains: should we be eating corn?

if not, maybe we should take a long, hard look at just how much corn we are consuming daily. yes, we are consuming corn daily. in corn flour, corn starch, corn syrup, corn chips. it's in our preservatives at maltodextrin and dextrose. it's in candy and soda but in places you wouldn't even think to look, like the spice rack. we even have it added to our auto fuels, which means we're breathing in corn fumes as part of the exhaust.

oh, you believed ethanol was a clean burning fuel? clean compared to gas and oil, sure, but it's still there! you think ethanol is the solution to high gas prices? corn is political. there are several reasons why the government continues to subsidize corn growing in this country, not the least of which is that it can be used as a weapon against countries like mexico and venezuela by undercutting their staple export crop -- corn -- thereby keeping them from enjoying the same economic successes here.

but we were talking about eating corn. and eating is never about politics, is it?

with a food source so prominent in a culture it makes me wonder what would happen if that crop were to suddenly disappear. would the united states collapse if corn crops became sterile and died out within a couple of years?

perhaps that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

discuss.

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