King Corn – a documentary by Aaron Woolf (director), Ian Cheney, and Curtis Ellis
I watched this movie last night. I cannot underestimate how moved I still am by it. I’m not sure if it’s a “watershed” moment in my life yet….but this morning I got up and looked at my option for breakfast. I’m realizing I will never look at my food, or anything at the grocery store, the same – ever again.
The doc starts out with two recent college graduates (Cheney and Ellis) that hear that, for the first time in generations, our current generation could be actually have a lower lifespan than the one before it, because of what we ate. They get with a scientist at the University of Virginia, who tests their hairs, and find that they are quite literally turning into corn – as the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” They guys set out to move to Iowa for a year, purchase an acre of land, and become corn growers. They find that they aren’t growing the corn you pop out of your Green Giant can.
I don’t really want to start giving away a lot of this documentary, but in the talks they have with scientists, professors, and the corn growers themselves, a lot of things about food are brought to light. A particularly interesting conversation with Earl Butz puts a LOT of perspective on why corn, specifically commodity corn, is the primary staple. The history of the migration, modification, the very real and present health implications (on the human and beast) of the corn is very telling as well. (Sidenote: I’ve had Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma for a while. I believe I will be reading this book, directly after I finish The Family. Dave, nice pickup.)
A must see documentary. I can honestly say it’s probably going to change how I feel about food, and what I choose to eat, forever.