Wednesday, May 11, 2011


You may have read a few things on this blog about corn.

You probably think that I don't like corn. 

I know that there are several of you out there that think that I don't like corn.  I like corn.  I love
corn-on-the-cob cooked on the grill and seasoned a dozen different ways.  I love corn chips.  I love, love, love cornbread.  My love for cornbread probably has more to do with the fact that my recipe for cornbread ends up more like cake, but never-the-less, I love cornbread.

What I don't like is Genetically Modified Corn, also known as GMO Corn. 

What is that?

Why do I not like that?

It is a huge thing for me to explain, but I will try to sum it up in 50 pages or less.

Disclaimer:  I am not an expert on anything.  I am just a silly girl with some huge ideas and opinions on things.  I can point you in the direction of experts, but I, in no way, claim to be one.

Here we go...

I do not like Genetically Modified crops.  The big ones in this country, to my knowledge are corn and soybeans.  Potatoes may also be big on the list, but I haven't done any research exploring that crop as of yet.  There are no labeling laws that require a product to list if it contains GMO's.  What you will see, are products that have started listing that they do not contain GMO crops.  Certified Organic crops are not genetically modified.  They can't be GMO and still qualify for Organic Certification.

I do not think that the Organically Certified Programs are without flaws. 

There are several reasons that companies genetically alter seed.

Insect Tolerance
Herbicide Tolerance

Once a seed has been genetically modified, the new version then becomes proprietary to the company that modifies it.  This is one of the scarier aspects to me because it opens up the farmers to a ton of trouble if seed gets contaminated by neighboring farms.  It is an ugly, legal mess.

I watched a documentary called King Corn that explains all of this in greater detail.  I highly recommend that you find a copy and watch it.  If you can't get your hands on a copy, you may be able to convince me to loan you mine.  Of course, you will have to stand on one foot, hold your left arm above your head and sing the ABC song, but other than that I will lend it to you for free. 

There were several things that I found revealing in this documentary.

1.  GMO corn is widely grown and subsidized by the government.

2.  It is not edible in its original form out of the field.  It requires processing before it can be consumed. 

Example:  It could be used to make High Fructose Corn Syrup.

3.  The gentlemen in the documentary had tests done that show as a result of their diet, their carbon make up is corn.

4.  We have reached a time when the farmer can't feed his own family from the crops he is growing.

I always picture the family farm as a place where a farmer can feed his family.  It is a place that is diverse in crops and animals, and the farmer is eating his own harvest.  This is not true any longer.  Farms are more and more commercial, and with GMO crops, the yield has to be processed in one way or another before it can be consumed.

5.  The list of things that you consume in a day that contain corn is getting longer and longer.  I am not talking about corn on the cob, or creamed corn, or frozen corn, or corn chips, or even cornbread.  I am talking about every animal that is fed corn.  I am talking about the processed foods that are sweetened with High Fructose Corn syrup or even just fructose.  I am talking about all of the ingredients that are listed on labels, that we can't pronounce, that contain corn in one form or another.

It is no surprise that our carbon make up is now testing as Corn!

I want to eat corn when I want to eat corn.  I don't want corn hidden in everything that I eat.  This is why I don't give my hens feed that contains GMO Corn.  This is also why I am doing everything that I can to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup.  This is why I am looking more and more towards grass-fed beef.

Did you know that cows really shouldn't eat corn?

Cows that are sent to confinement feed lots before they are sent to market are fed corn and corn by-products.  This is done for a limited amount of time to add weight to the animal before it is processed. 

Did you know that if they continued to feed cattle in this manner for an extended period of time, they would die?  Even with four stomachs, they are not designed for this type of feeding program.

Disclaimer:  Again, I am not an expert.  I have watched several documentaries, and I have read a lot of information.  If you want to hear from the experts yourself, watch King Corn and Food, Inc.  They do a much better job of backing it up with the facts and the experts.

So, you see, I have a bit of a thing about corn.  I also am a bit of a control freak, and I want corn when I want corn.  I don't want corn because every product out there is slipping some in here and there.

I don't like GMO's of any kind for a few simple reasons.

1.  I feel like God made things the way He wanted them.  I am not convinced that sending someone into a lab, and letting them change things on a genetic level will make something better for me.  I personally feel like it will make things better for a corporation somewhere, but not for me.  They have a right to that.  I have a right not to participate.

2.  If a product is engineered to accept a certain pesticide, doesn't it seem that a farmer would use that pesticide more freely?  Would there be much thought concerning over-use?

3.  I feel like the main reason for genetic modification is yield.  It all has to come down to yield or there would be no financial incentive to do it.  Is nutritional value or taste even a consideration?

Why do I want something that will accept more pesticide, make more money for a corporation somewhere, and not even taste better or be more nutritionally beneficial?

These are just a few thoughts on the subject of corn.  I am sure that I have more to add, but I will stop for now. I will leave you with a list of things to think about.  The list below are items that all contain corn in one form or another.  I don't know what half of these things are, let alone how to pronounce them, but I know that I have seen them on my food labels.  Read the labels on your food and your drinks, even your gum.  You will be surprised at how much corn you consume.  This list is courtesy of the movie Food, Inc.

calcium stearate
alpha tocopherol
ethyl lactate
poly dextrose
ethylene gluten
xanatha gum
white vinegar
citrus cloud emulsion
citric acid
tumaric acid

The lists go on and on...

1 comment:

  1. Amen and amen sister. Thanks for doing so much leg work and keeping us up on stuff we should be learning about for ourselves. Just sign me lazy. Have a good weekend.