Thursday, July 31, 2008

Holy King Corn, Batman!!!

So while I was out on sabbatical I rented the movie, King Corn. Has anyone else seen this movie? Wowie-zowie! It was jam-packed with information that I had never thought about/knew about before. It also made me a hard-core believer in pasture-raised/fed animals for my meat and dairy product purchases. I didn't realize how much corn had infected every facet of our lives!

**Spoiler alert...The most interesting and disturbing scene in the documentary was footage shot at the University of Iowa. Researchers are studying how corn affects cattle and they actually had this huge-ass cow in some sort of containment contraption and the guy stuck his hand through a big hole in the cow's side, reached into one of the cow's stomachs and pulled out some of the rotting food! My husband and I first saw it and looked at each other and said "That wasn't really a hole into the cow's stomach...nah, that'd be insane...", so we played it back two more times. After the first replay we said "Oh my g-d! That is a friggin' hole in the cow all the way to his stomach! Oh my g-d!" After the second replay we just sat there staring, mouths wide-open, noses wrinkled and saying "Ick...ew...yucky". This movie was the first time that I heard (from respected, legitimate researchers/scientists) that when cows eat corn, they quickly develop 'subacute acidosis'--a condition that causes them severe pain to the point that they kick at their bellies, go off the feed and will even eat dirt to try and stop it. And they endure all of this so that we can purchase our milk in mass quantity for low prices at our neighborhood "Big Box" chain stores!

However, I don't want to short-change this movie...there was SO much more to it than just feeding cows corn. It sheds light on how mucked up our government subsidies for farmers are and how corn is in EVERYTHING now pretty much by design and how this all just really took hold in the last 25 years. King Corn was enlightening, well-informed, well-made and thought-provoking. If you haven't seen it requires only about 90 minutes of your life and I highly doubt you'll regret it!

1 comment:

leslie said...

My comment will be a little off topic, but it's about the cow stomach...
My cousin is a veterinarian. I would visit his Pennsylvania farm when I was a kid, and go with when he made his rounds. It is big time dairy country.
I stood plenty wide eyed while he opened up a cow stomach, while she was locally anesthetized, standing in the stall, and he removed a magnet and plenty of pasture junk she had injested.
The cow had been fed a powerful magnet a week before, and it had gathered all the metal junk in her stomach she had eaten in her grazing...a can lid, a piece of barbed wire, bolts, nails...
My cousin reached into the green grassy churning mass, found the magnet, and removed the metal. Sewed her up.
Like I said, I stood there with my mouth hanging open. Ol' bossie just turned around on occasion to watch, in between mouthfuls of hay.