King Corn Essay

1226 words - 5 pages

King Corn

Corn is a plant that can grow in various types of climates, making it the top crop grown in the world. However, a certain type of climate is optimal for most efficient production of corn. Corn needs a temperate weather and good soil. These conditions, as well as the use of hybrid seeds, provide a basis for the huge corn industry in the United States. According to Conceicao and Mendoza, “About 90% of corn and soybean exports are accounted for by only three countries: Argentina, Brazil and the USA. Five countries (India, Pakistan, Thailand, USA and Vietnam) account for over 80% of global rice exports.”
King Corn follows two best friends from college, Ian Cheney and Curt ...view middle of the document...

Switching from grass to corn allows the farmers to have a greater income. is ultimately derived from corn, either in the form of high fructose corn syrup or from corn-based animal feed.  But is it worth doing? The filmmakers go to many cattle corn-feedlots, and find out that too much corn in the died of the cattle causes the cattle to eventually develop an acidic condition in one of their stomachs, acidosis, that eventually kills them. The pH in the stomachs of the cows is neutral, feeding them corn, however, makes their stomach much more acidic. This contributes to many health concerns: diarrhea, ulcers, and liver disease. To fight these health concerns, cattle are fed antibiotics, which leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the consumer of this meat and makes us immune to modern medicine. There are many other health concerns that arise such as the fact that meat from corn-fed cattle is higher in both overall fat and artery-clogging saturated fat, and lower in healthy omega-3 fats, vitamin E and conjugated linoleic acid.
Ian and Curt also decide to make corn syrup themselves (the process of creating which requires sulfuric acid and other industrial chemicals). Both corn-fed beef and high-fructose corn syrup contribute to the obesity epidemic in the United States. Nutritionists and others interviewed in the movie also discuss the link between the diabetes epidemic and high-fructose corn syrup, especially corn syrup consumed in the form of soda.
Subsidies are both good and bad because while decreasing the cost of agriculture to society, many subsidies create health concerns such as those shown in King Corn. I think that supply and demand for products shift to change the prices of those products, the even shifts in the supply and demand for both domestic and international result in changing quantities. Back in the day, subsidizing was used to maintain higher and stable prices. But economy has changed and altered subsidization since then. Now, subsidies are used to keep the prices of corn low.
Agricultural overproduction is a problem that had existed for a very long period of time, even before subsidies were created. Usually, at the point when the price of the commodity one sells decreases at rapid rates, the solution that is most used is to curtail production until demand increases and raises the prices. But this is something that is not easily done in farming due to the fact that there is an abundance of farmers who operate as individuals instead of operating...

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