'King Corn' rules American diets
On December 13, 2011, the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City’s Environmental Ministry showed its last film for the year in its Film and Discussion Series. “King Corn” follows two just-graduated students as they farm an acre of corn and what they learned about how corn came to dominate the American food culture.
“It [corn] is an everyday part of your life, and you don’t realize it,” says a representative from the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.
The two filmmakers find out that their generation may not live as long as their parents’ generation because of their diet. They have their hair analyzed and are told that most of the carbon is from corn. Going to the grocery store, they read the labels of many different items and find corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and that the meat is corn fed.
While raising their acre of corn, they find out that without government subsidies, corn would be unprofitable to raise.They also find out that cows raised on a corn diet would die in a short time if they weren’t slaughtered first.
After the film, alternatives were given to promote a healthier lifestyle, healthier cattle and less big corn. Suggestions included eating grass-fed meats that can be found at the Farmer’s Market and the Utah Food Co-op, going vegetarian and exploring the options that Bell Organics has to offer.
“In this course, we were trying to give you a taste of Good Eatin’,” says Carole Straughn. The films and discussions were all based on the four qualities of flavorful, healthy, ethical and sustainable.
The film was accompanied by bio-diverse, organic popcorn, a sampling of different grain flours and sweeteners and a taste of gluten-free bread.