This film came out about a year ago, but I saw it for the first time on the History Channel a couple of days ago. A very enlightening view of the omnipresence of corn and corn-products in our food. From corn-fed beef to corn-starch and high-fructose corn syrup (boo!), industrial production of corn is in all facets of our diet.
In the film, two friends set out to produce an acre of corn and track how it grows and where is goes. Inspired by the Omnivore’s Dilemma and in tune with other recent super-docs (Super Size Me, Food Inc., The End of the Line), King Corn is a sensitive and educational film that manages not to stray into anti-industry polemic.
This extended clip from PBS shows the first 20-minutes of the movie:
It’s amazing to see that the corn farmers can’t even feed themselves with the corn they grow – it is not fit to be eaten! Instead it is bred and grown for maximum starch output. If you get a chance, watch it.
One impactful scene explains how high fructose corn syrup came to be and how it is made. Something to surely make you think twice about the contents of the processed foods we eat. Here’s a challenge – check the labels in the supermarket and see how may products contain it.
With all the webspace devoted to genetics and biotechnology at the moment, it’s great to stumble upon a site that is bringing ‘old school’ Science into the new millenium. Though no-one seems to call it botany any more!
The Plant and Soil Science eLibrary hosts a collection of animations on plant science topics and cell biology that are useful, clear and can be easily downloaded. They are all also available in Spanish and many have pdf help notes for students.
The site is designed primarily for people who wish to earn credit for further studies in crop science and contains such units as plant physiology, crop technology and nutrition technology. There’s even some genetics in there.
Click on the image to see their transpiration example.