Corn is America’s biggest and most profitable plant in its entire food industry. Every year, 90 million acres of farmland are designated and used for corn production only. Corn makes a huge part of the U.S, but is it all beneficial to us, the average American, and the land we live in? Consumers of America should be more aware of the importance of corn in their lives because, as it may be very useful and positive attributes, corn also has many negative drawbacks to it as well. This super-food has taken root in our country, but where did it start?
Corn started out as a grass in Mexico thousands of years ago that looked very different than what it is today. 7000 years ago, corn was a grass called Teosinte. Domestication of corn led to it becoming high fructose corn syrup, a form of high calorie fat that also acted as a sweetener. This coupled with the huge amount corn led to thousands of products being made with this new discovery. Corn can be found in foods such as cereal, breads, and sweets. Corn can even be found in non food items like makeup, name brand shampoos, diapers, glue, perfumes, and even aspirin. Corn is cheap to farm, it creates huge yields, and can be easily broken down to become parts of millions of products and foods. It’s the perfect food, can there be any downsides.
The corn we enjoy so much might also be a huge downfall for America. So much of our food and lives come from corn, which leads to many asking how it could affect Americans negatively. Corn that is used as high-fructose corn syrup in foods is not healthy at all for people. Corn syrup is a fake grain syrup filled with sugar that turns into fat. High-fructose corn syrup is one of the big components of obesity in America. Corn also is a very greedy plant. Farmland is growing weary with how much resources it takes to grow a stalk of corn. Corn also craves water and is affected greatly by any type of water shortage. So much of our economy is based on corn but it can also come crashing down in a moment. Corn is not very sustainable for the environment, taking many nutrients with it. Corn has also been the root problem with GMO poisoning recently. Even with all of its amazing qualities, corn’s reputation is only getting worst. Consumers need another solution for corn and its growing reach.
Corn is becoming a negative force in the wake of its sustainability. Consumers of America should be more aware of the importance of corn in their lives because it makes up so much of our lives. Corn has taken root in our economy and still growing, but one day it might all pop like a kernel in a microwave.
- Conca, James. “12 surprising Things that contain Corn.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 26 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
- Geiling, Natashasa. “Is There Such a Thing As Sustainable Corn?” Modern Farmer. N.p., 06 May 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
- “History: The Story of All of Us Corn.” YouTube. YouTube, 07 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
- Fig 1.Corn encompassing child. http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5006e7b86bb3f7f944000010-1190-625/11-wild-facts-about-corn-in-america.jpg
Fast food, no need to think or even worry. Drive, stop, grab and you have everything you need or want, no thoughts needed. But where does it bring us in the future no-one worries because we think that we saved time and we’re going to have more time to work, study, etc. That’s the problem because we do not win, we lose. What we eat will kill us and what is around us because of how we eat and what we eat. Need to eat with the thought.
The first thought about the food comes to mind is what kind of food would taste good. Then how would it look, and then all other thought come because it feels like it is not important? The problem of our time is that we do not think about important things like where it comes from and what it is made of. The fast food companies make us think and believe in what they want us to. They show interesting, healthy and beautiful advertisements, and we think and see the products through the advertisement. But we do not see all that mess behind all of the bright beautiful advertisement. We need to be interested in what we eat and what fast food companies sell us. Because believe it or not the food we eat changes our life not for better, but for worse. Meat in our time does not have the same benefits that it had before and it is because we do not have the same meat anymore. More doctors and science put the information out there that meat is not good for us and it can cause the bad input in our life like cancer. “Organization declared processed meat a “carcinogen” which increases one’s risk of colon or rectum cancer by 18 percent. But it’s not just processed meat that puts you at risk. A vast array of studies from top universities and independent researchers has found that eating chickens, cows, and other animals promote cancer in many forms.” (bustle.com
) When we eat we need to be thoughtful about what we eat and where it came from. Animals deserve better treatment. We can only help them by stopping eat meat. If we continue the farmers will continue using chickens the way the do it right now which is terrible and heartless. Let’s eat with the thought where it comes from and where it will bring us and our planet.
In the present time, our food is usually marketed in stores as being “Farm Fresh,” which gives shoppers a sense of trust of the idea that farms still make and produce foods like they did in the early 1900’s. However, modern food production appears to be more of a factory than an idealistic farm setting. Though people may think differently, thousands of chickens are packed into dark, poorly ventilated houses. On account of these corrupted companies compete over the domination of the market and keep turning profits, production animals everywhere are suffering.
In my research, my interest was taken in the subjects on if the animals in the farms have the right to have a certain quality of life. In the food production industry, the major corporations control the quality of the products being produced by major providers. These providers tend to only care about profit and not the well-being of the animals they produce. One example in the documentary “Food Inc.” was related to chickens. The chickens were mass produced by big corporations such as Tyson and Perdue and have been engineered for the chickens to grow four times the size of a normal chicken in a short amount of time. Though the skin and muscle have been designed to grow very quickly, the bones and internal organs of these modified chickens can not keep up. The documentary showed several clips of these mutant chickens taking a few steps and then having to lay back down because their bodies can not support their weight. Production animals such as cattle should be fed grasses and roots of the land instead of corn, which they are not meant to consume and digest. If we decide not to abide by these rules, society’s actions of pertaining food can be detrimental to our planet.
I believe that these food and animal processors should aim toward using renewable energy or process wastes to produce energy. Providing safe and nutritious food remains a leading priority for the food industry. It is so important to continue this life cycle of food products where we can use our resources effectively and harvest the foods, so it will not be permanently damaged.
Jamison G. Tsuchiya
- “Harman’s Place!” Do Animals have the right to a certain quality of life? Accessed April 18, 2017. http://harman-thes-classover7-series.blogspot.com/p/do-animals-have-right-to-certain.html.
- “Factory Farming: Misery for Animals.” PETA. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/.
- “Chickens.” Farm Sanctuary. Accessed April 20, 2017. https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/chickens/.
Fig. 1. The Chicken of Tomorrow needs to be the Chicken of Yesterday (http://heritagefoodsusa.com/)
Humans have constantly been dependent on the natural resources that come from the earth to help sustain them. Today, different companies harvest animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens for us to provide a source of protein for our bodies. However, the companies that raise these animals force them to live in unhealthy farmhouses or CAFO’s, given hormones to grow faster, and are treated unfairly before human consumption can occur.
Food companies across the states are guilty of raising chickens in disgusting inhumane farmhouses that are not taken care of. Harrison Jacobs a writer for the Business Insider says that, “It is filled with litter, feces, and urine. The dirty, overcrowded conditions at Watts’ barns have left the chickens’ bellies raw and red. Most of the chickens have a massive bedsore.” Also, The New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof says “Poultry Science journal has calculated that if humans grew at the same rate as modern chickens, a human would weigh 660lbs by the age of six weeks.”
“Perdue’s chickens are raised to grow unnaturally large and fast. Perdue chickens reach market weight after 42 days, according to Watts. The high growth rate makes it difficult for chickens to breathe, walk, and fly.” (Jacobs)
In their last moments of life they are treated very poorly before human consumption. A secret video from Tyson revealed that the workers are violent towards them by continually punching and beating them up for fun and ripping their heads off if they miss the kill blade.
Although chickens are a good source of food, as consumers we need to come down on the food companies and hold them accountable. The farmers are not the enemy because they have no power when raising the chickens for the company. People have the power to demand change, and it is only when we demand change that the farmers will provide the healthier foods that are desired.
Jacobs, Harrison. Business Insider: Perdue Farmer Reveals How Bad Life Is For His ‘Humanely Raised’ Chickens. 10 December 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-truth-about-humanely-raised-chicken-2014-12. 4 April 2017.
Kristof, Nicholas. NY Times: Abusing Chickens We Eat. 4 December 2014. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/opinion/nicholas-kristof-abusing-chickens-we-eat.html?_r=0. 4 April 2017.
SHOCKING! Chick-fil-a Suppliers Caught on Camera Torturing Animals. n.d. 12 April 2017. http://www.chickfilacruelty.com/.
As United States has highest meat consumption in the world, there are companies that want to produce massive amount of meat. Factory farming where thousands of animals in one location generate millions of tons of manure annually, which are established by big meat companies are causing many problems. People who want to maximize output while minimizing costs, has established factory farming that resulted farm animals to suffer from harsh living conditions and eating unnatural food.
Animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy in wire cages and metal crates, where there are no windows. Living in these conditions, animals cannot raise their families, walk around freely in the soil, and build nests, which are their natural instinct. As a result, they get tons of stress that actually affect their health significantly leading to illness and other diseases.
Not only animals suffer from terrible living conditions, they also suffer from the overuse of antibiotics, and growth hormones. Because over-crowded animals are susceptible to infection and disease, most industrial livestock facilities treat the animals with low levels of antibiotics to try to prevent illness and compensate for stressful conditions. Cows and cattle are designed to eat grass and absorb plant nutrients not unnatural feed that they are forced to eat, which make them disease breeders. Because farmers want to more meat out of animals, they make them fat by feeding them unnatural food that are genetically engineered and even with growth hormones. Therefore, animals such as cattle and chickens aberrantly get fat, resulting that they cannot even stand still because their legs cannot hold their oversized body.
There are so many problems that factory farming causing. Many people are now realizing that animals are suffering from terrible living conditions, eating unnatural food, and the fact that they are eating ill meat. If factory farming continue on without any improvement or change to make environment better, our whole country will suffer from disease not only animals. And as a customer we should avoid buying products from big companies such as Smithfield and Tyson.
By Yoon Shin