In 2004, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis were best friends and new graduates from Yale who were concerned about the American obesity epidemic and embarrassed by how little they knew about what they were eating. They moved to the heartland to learn where their food was coming from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, nitrogen fertilizers, powerful herbicides and government subsidies, they rented an acre of land and grew a bumper crop of corn. But as they tried to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they found raised troubling questions about how we eat and how we farm.
KING CORN, a feature-length (83-minute) documentary directed by Curt’s cousin Aaron Woolf, records the year-long journey of the two friends. As an outreach tool, the film challenges audience members to think through the consequences of U.S. agricultural policies, our own eating habits and the intersections between the two.
The film is available to stream through the Penn State Libraries. Click here to access the link to stream the film through the PSU library server.
As this film takes you through the commodity chain of corn, think about how you would answer the following questions:
- What role does the family farm play in America’s perception of itself? What does it mean for the U.S. that the family farm is giving way to industrial or factory farming? What could reverse that trend?
- The film traces the consolidation of small family farms into large farming operations, with single farms planting a thousand or more acres. Who benefits from, or is hurt by, this consolidation of farms?
- KING CORN presents two philosophies behind farm subsidies. In the 1930s, subsidies helped control the amount of corn produced each year, ensuring that overproduction would not drive down prices. Starting in the 1970s, subsidies encouraged farmers to produce as much as possible. According to the film, what are the pros and cons of each approach? Which approach makes the most sense to you
- Are you comfortable having your tax dollars support the farming practices and resulting food culture depicted in the film? Why or why not?
- The filmmakers suggest that current farm practices and policies are not producing healthy food for American consumers. If that is the case, who is responsible to change the system? Consider the responsibility of the following: consumers, farmers, policy makers or legislators, food companies, food retailers and health professionals. What might individuals in each of these groups do to ensure a healthy, adequate, and dependable food supply?
- If you could ask Curt or Ian a question, what would you ask and why? Did anything in this film surprise you? Disturb you? Inspire you? Do you think you will change anything about the way you eat?
...and profits, it will be seen, have a very intimate connexion with each other. The principles which regulate rent are briefly stated in the following pages, and differ in a very slight degree from those which have been so fully and so ably developed by Mr Malthus in his late excellent publication, to which I am very much indebted. The consideration of those principles, together with those which regulate the profit of stock, have convinced me of the policy of leaving the importation of corn unrestricted by law. From the general principle set forth in al Mr Malthus's publications, I am persuaded that he holds the same opinion as far as profit and wealth are concerned with the question; -- but, viewing, as he does, the danger as formidable of depending on foreign supply for a large portion of our food, he considers it wise, on the whole, to restrict importation. Not participating with him in those fears, and perhaps estimating the advantages of a cheap price of corn at a higher value, I have come to a different conclusion. Some of the objections urged in his last publication, -- "Grounds of an Opinion," &c. I have endeavoured to answer; they appear to me unconnected with the political danger he apprehends, and to be inconsistent with the general doctrines of the advantages of a free trade, which he has himself, by his writings, so ably contributed to establish. On the Influence, &c. Mr Malthus very correctly defines, "the rent of land to be......
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The Corn Planting
...English III H Name Haley, Kathleen, and John Mr. Lynch Short Story Analyzer Short Story: The Corn Planting Author: Sherwood Anderson Element for Analysis|Response/Evidence|Significance| Basic summary of the story:Major action of the story in five to eight sentences.|- Hatch Hutchenson tends for his father’s farm after his injured father has returned from war and it becomes Hatch’s way of life.- Hatch marries a school teacher around the age of 50 and she was 40.- Hatch and his wife have a son named Will Hutchinson who works on the farm but then moves to Chicago to go to art school.- Will dies in a car crash in Chicago and Hal Weyman, a friend of Will’s in Chicago and a friend of the Hutchensons, is the one to deliver the news to Hatch and his wife.- Hatch and his wife plant corn on the night they received the news of Will’s death whilst in their nightgowns.- Hatch and his wife have a sense of composure the next day when they make arrangements for Will’s death.|| Major Characters:Who are the major characters and how does the author develop them? What do the characters represent?How do they change or not change?Static/DynamicFlat / Round|- Hatch Hutchenson and his wife ● Static characters whose life on their farm and view of life does not change ● Round characters ● Represent monotonous life on the prairie, hard work, and the “old way” of life- Will Hutchenson ● Static character ● Flat character ● Represents freedom from hard...
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Summary of Aah
...Aneka-Sierra Johnson HIS 103 Dr. Tameka Hobbs 22 January 2013 Chapter Summary for Chapter 1 – “Africa” Summary: This chapter describes how Africa was basically the birth place of humanity and its geographical features. The chapter states that Africa is the second largest continent in the world (Asia is the largest).It describes where the Africans originated and how they evolved over time. Also it gives a generally understanding of how the Africans ran there countries.IT gives a brief description of what they did to survive and how things where in there time. The Chapter also explains why African civilizations are important. Key Points: Paleoanthropologists –scientist who studies the evolution and pre-history of humans- these scientist are a key part to understanding the early state of African humanity because of their research it is concluded that all people today are decent of Africa. They also believe that Ardipitecines which are creatures that walked upright, evolved from Ardipitecines to Homo habilis The Earliest civilization in Africa and one of the two earliest in the world history is that of ancient Egypt which stared in the Nile River valley. The other of the two is Mesopotamian civilization. In both of these civilization hunting and gathering “gave way’ to the agriculture. Which lead them to become hierarchical and specialized. Sudan Ghana was the first known kingdom in western Sudan. It was established by the Soninke people in the area in the......
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High-Fructose Corn Syrup
...Benefit of High-Fructose Corn Syrup Soft drinks, salad dressing, breads, fruits and vegetables, and many processed snacks what is the common dominator for the following popular American food items? They’re all foods that contain a sizeable amount of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)! HFCS is syrup from cornstarch that’s turned into Americas most popular and cheap sweetener for many food products. Starting a few years ago a slew of ad campaigns against and for HFCS invaded American television broadcasting. I was not aware of the positives of the negatives of high fructose corn syrup, and honestly didn’t even know what it was. The advertisements started my line of questioning. After reading part on of The Omnivore’s Dilemma my position on the topic of HFCS is beneficial because the production of the product allows for the development of low cost food items, due to the American government subsidies to corn production. HFCS also allows for the productions of a variety of many low cost food products, which sustain American farmers business with the use of subsidizes. Although many argue HFCS is less health than other types of sweeteners that cost more to produce, research has shown that high fructose corn syrup is chemically similar to table sugar. (Insert Cite) High fructose corn syrup is created when the “molecular composition of glucose and convert it to fructose” (oukosher., 2012). Essentially it’s a process that combines one glucose molecule with one fructose......
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...there looking all “sweet”, but I know deep down, you’re just about ready to POP! You know how I know? Because...you’re… corn. “What?” you say, “I’m not corn, I’m a person!” ah-ah-ah, you see, I am a firm believer that you are what you eat; and I’m fairly convinced that you, myself, and everyone else in America, eats corn. <Beat>+<Beat in between sentences> About three years ago I was watching an episode of the Colbert Report in which he pointed out our nation’s insane dependence on corn. It made me realize just how unaware of corn we actually are. A good analogy our situation with corn, is that of the Bourne Series, where a man wakes to find he does not remember anything of his past, and must fight through a corrupted government to find the Truth. Like Mr. Bourne, we have forgotten just what corn means to us, and the hold it has over us. But by examining how our society became rooted in corn, and why our society will never be able to shuck its corn dependence, you can skip the violence and go straight for the understanding. I’ll begin with explaining corn itself, or, The Corn Identity The history of corn is summarized nicely by, surprise surprise, Mike Gibson of Iowa State University: Corn, known as Maize in all but a handful English-speaking countries, is a grain originally domesticated by peoples in Mesoamerica around 2,500 B.C. Corn was the major crop for the Aztecs, Mayas, Incas and various Pueblo dwellers of the southwestern United States. Next,......
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King Corn Summary
...“King Corn” is a documentary film by Aaron Woolf in October 2006, following two college friends, Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis, as they move from Boston to Greene, Iowa to grow and farm an acre of corn by themselves and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food craze, corn. As Cheney and Ellis try to track their crop of corn into the food system, they found many troubling aspect which questioned how we eat and how we farm. Throughout this process, Cheney and Ellis investigate the effect of the increasing production of corn on American society, both physically and economically. Also, they highlighted on the role of government subsidies which encourages the enormous amount of corn grown. This film illustrates how industrialization in corn production abolished the typical family farm and replaced by much larger industrialized farms. These families are forced to give up their farms in order for industries to take over to start a mass production. The industrialized farms would produce approximately 200 bushels of corn per acre, which is the equivalent of 10,000 pounds or five tons. They also came across inhumane confined animal feeding operations, which would one day be killed for their meat and the heavy use of corn sweetener (high fructose syrup) may be linked to obesity and diabetes. Both Cheney and Ellis depict the necessity of industrialization in the North American food and produce system. They found that high fructose syrup is found in basically all industrialized...
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...The Facts Behind King Corn The documentary King Corn does an excellent job introducing us to the perils and problems with our industrial food system that are centered on cheap corn. However, it also tends to sidestep the main beneficiaries who drive and thrive off our current farm programs: corporate agribusiness. Why are farmers dependent on subsidies? New Deal Forced Agribusiness to Pay Farmers Fairly. As King Corn outlined, the government during the New Deal attempted to bring supply into line with demand, an approach known as “supply management.” This was accomplished thru the use of conservation set-asides, a price floor guaranteeing a fair price for corn (similar to a minimum wage), and a grain reserve to deal with overproduction. Farmers did not need to rely on the government for a fair income. They received it from the marketplace. Prior to the New Deal, the “free market” approach to agriculture caused economic booms and busts as farmers suffered continued depressed prices for their crops. This led to the rise of the Populist Party and other agrarian movements whose ideas were finally implemented with the New Deal. Agribusiness Had Lobbied for Decades to Allow the “Free Market” to Determine Prices. Beginning in 1973, policy changes promoted by Nixon Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz deregulated the corn market. He dismantled supply management policies, selling off government storage bins used as food security reserves and implemented “fencerow to fencerow” planting....
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...King Corn Corn is a plant that can grow in various types of climates, making it the top crop grown in the world. However, a certain type of climate is optimal for most efficient production of corn. Corn needs a temperate weather and good soil. These conditions, as well as the use of hybrid seeds, provide a basis for the huge corn industry in the United States. According to Conceicao and Mendoza, “About 90% of corn and soybean exports are accounted for by only three countries: Argentina, Brazil and the USA. Five countries (India, Pakistan, Thailand, USA and Vietnam) account for over 80% of global rice exports.” King Corn follows two best friends from college, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, who go to the heartland to figure out what their food is composed of after finding out in a laboratory study that their DNA was mostly made up of corn. They were curious how corn ended up on their hair. After they plant and grow an acre of America's most produced and most subsidized on Iowa soil, they try to find out where the corn goes in the food system and how it is distributed all over America. What they discover shocks them. There are many reasons why there is an overproduction of corn in the United States, including advancements in technology, government subsidies, the cheap price of corn and corn syrup as opposed to grass and sugar. Overproduction of corn leads to overconsumption of the crop, because since corn is so cheap to grow, many try to figure out new ways on how to......
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Corn in Cafos
...Justin Barker Professor Hunt English 1A 7 July 2012 Fast Food: Importance of Corn in CAPOs Today, corn in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) has become increasingly more important. In just one word most industries determine corn to be more “efficient” (71); this meaning that it’s faster to raise a calf to slaughter point feeding it corn rather than grazing grass. A cow fed on corn would only take roughly fourteen to sixteen months compared to the four to five years grazing on grass (both time frames based on raising a cow from 80lbs to 1,100lbs). Not only is it faster, it has become cheaper for CAFOs to buy corn than it is for the farmers to grow the corn; with cheaper corn, comes “cheap and abundant” (67) meat. Another purpose of corn is that naturally animals have followed an ecologically closed loop; cows for example, eat the grass/crops, pound the seeds in with their hooves and then fertilize the dirt with their own manure. This in turn provides the cows with an abundance of grass and in turn keeps nature from over-producing; secondly, it keeps the soil fresh. Today with corn being an over-produced crop, industries see corn as cheap calories and with cows, chickens, and pigs as a natural way to dispose of the abundant corn. Lastly, in addition to cows fattening more quickly on corn, Michael Pollan points out that cows fed corn also marble well. This meaning that the fat of the cow has become tastier and the texture preferred by most Americans....
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...CORE 110 E Short Writing #6 The short story The Corn Mother by the Penobscot tribe is about the origination of corn and tobacco. What this story tells us about the Penobscot peoplle’s tribe is that they were not always an agricultural or farming tribe. In the beginning, Kloskurbeh created taught humans how to live and he taught them how to hunt animals. After teaching the humans how to survive, he retreated to the north until he was needed. Eventually, the humans had killed too many animals so there was starvation. Corn Mother who is the mother of all humans pitied her children and cried for them. She eventually asks her husband to kill her and tells her sons to drag her body all over the earth until her flesh peels off. After this was done, they were to bury her ones in the middle of her flesh and come back after seven moons. When they returned there was corn and tobacco. I feel that this sacrifice was the end of violence in the Penobscot tribe. This is because they didn’t have to hunt and kill animals anymore. This story also shows us how close the Penobscot were to the divine. They could go to the divine anytime that they wanted because the divine were basically their parents. The closeness is also not only on the side of the humans. The divine also care about the humans given the fact that Corn Mother sacrificed her life for theirs. The Penobscot have a great respect for the natural world. This is because of Corn Mother’s sacrifice. I believe that they have great......
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King of Kings
...now will aid you throughout your professional life. It is a living, not a static, document that needs to be continually updated as new experiences or accomplishments are completed. Despite its multiple purposes, your CV must be restructured and rewritten, or at least reviewed, for each specific purpose for which it is to be used. It might be entirely inappropriate to include a lengthy list of publications in a CV you are submitting as application for membership in a volunteer organization. On the other hand, it might be imperative to include this information, if not in the body, at least as an appendix, in a CV you are submitting to obtain an academic position. Some experts recommend maintaining two versions of your CV--one, a short summary of your training and experience and the other, a longer version with more detailed information about your publications and presentations. In general, however, no CV should be lengthy. No matter how many accomplishments you list, you won't impress anyone if they can't quickly pick out two or three good reasons to choose you over someone else. Let your CV help you put your best foot forward. Sometimes, a CV is referred to as a “résumé.” Academic or educational circles tend to use the word curriculum vitae, or CV, more frequently than résumé. Because of the nature of the medical profession, where the years for preparation are highly structured and generally comparable from institution to institution, a chronological format for the......
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...Corn America The demand for corn has greatly increased because of its many new found uses but mainly because it has been discovered that corn can be use as an alternate energy source. This great demand for corn has increased many area of farming and production of corn here and other countries such as Mexico and South America. This great demand has lead to an increase in farmers who are willing to cash in on these cash crops and try to earn a few quick dollars because of the great demand for it. In 2007 Corn farmer saw record profits because famer where getting twice as much for corn as they did in previous years. The same trend continued but farmers dealt with so many obstacle such as weather, bugs and lack of equipment that they found themselves in an upside down situations. (www.cnn.com) Many of the corn farmers have made lots of sacrifices to meet the demands of corn by producing more corn, buying more land and seeds, use of extra fuel in farm equipment, which increased the farmers spending but also return great profits. This will cause the production of corn’s substitute, soybean, to diminish but not disappear because soybeans have a market of their own in china because of its production of soybean oil and milk that is wide spread in China. As far as the US and soybean its production will slowly starts to diminish because many of the farmers will use their land to grown more corn to gain a better profit, instead of growing soybean and......
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The Corn Planting
...LITERARY ANALYSIS OF “The Corn Planting” Author: Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) is often called “the mid-American Chekhov” Title: The title suggests that characters in the story plant corn on a farm. Setting: A farm on Scratch Gravel Road in spring time. Point of view: First person point of view. Central Conflict: The old couple struggle to get over the terrible pain and grief because of the death of their only son. Plot: A man and a woman have a son late in their life. They are farmers and attached to their land and work of planting. When their son grows up he goes to live in the city and dies at a young age. The couple try to get over their loss through their connection to nature and understanding of the cycles of life and death. Introduction: Hatch and his attachment to the earth is introduced through his family story. Hatch’s father becomes invalid when Hatch is still a child. At a very young age he had to develop a relationship with nature and the cycles of birth and death. Inciting incident: It occurs with the death of their son. Development: Hatch is a very good farmer and he likes his farm very much and he marries a school teacher and they have a son called Will. Will goes to Chicago to study. His parents miss him very much. They become preoccupied with reading their son’s letters. After their son dies in a traffic accident they are able to incorporate their loss in to their perspective of cycles of nature. Climax: It is when Hall goes......
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Corn Innovation - Artificial Corn Rice
...indispensable "to eat rice", but it is a seed grains made of "special rice" - called "Artificial Corn Rice." In the deep processing of grain and expanding people's rising income levels today, finishing rice, flour, processed mostly vitamins and other substances the body must be away, leaving the sugar, carbohydrates, etc. That can not meet the body's nutritional needs. Corn innovation becomes very necessary. However, for most people prefer to add up the corn, for both add corn kernels, add the corn residue or crushed, or cornmeal, all feel when eating mouth running, bitter taste, bad taste. Artificial rice corn in this case came into being. Artificial fine cornmeal corn rice is peeled to the navel as raw material, through the water and stir puffed shaped, pale yellow translucent gel particles, shape much like rice. Made of artificial rice cooked rice with corn, two meters cooked rice, porridge, smooth and delicious, taste good. The successful development of golden rice corn for China's processing "artificial rice", creating a new way of eating corn opened up a viable new way, but also for our future development for the elderly, infants, patients need nutritional rice corn efficacy meter basis. Corn, present in many European countries, has become widely accepted, and has become a popular health food. For just entered the well-off society in terms of our people, extraordinary nutritional value of corn, not only to make up for the shortcomings of the main food, but also for......
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...KING LEAR KING LEAR William Shakespeare 1606 KING LEAR Dramatis Personae Lear, King of Britain. King of France. Duke of Burgundy. Duke of Cornwall. Duke of Albany. Earl of Kent. Earl of Gloucester. Edgar, son of Gloucester. Edmund, bastard son to Gloucester. Curan, a courtier. Old Man, tenant to Gloucester. Doctor. Lear's Fool. Oswald, steward to Goneril. A Captain under Edmund's command. Gentlemen. A Herald. Servants to Cornwall. Goneril, daughter to Lear. Regan, daughter to Lear. Cordelia, daughter to Lear. Knights attending on Lear, Officers, Messengers, Soldiers, Attendants. Scene: - Britain. KING LEAR ACT I. KING LEAR SCENE I. [King Lear's Palace.] Enter Kent, Gloucester, and Edmund. [Kent and Glouceste converse. Edmund stands back.] Kent. I thought the King had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall. Glou. It did always seem so to us; but now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the Dukes he values most, for equalities are so weigh'd that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety. Kent. Is not this your son, my lord? Glou. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him that now I am braz'd to't. Kent. I cannot conceive you. Glou. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon she grew round-womb'd, and had indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault? Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so......
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