Quick! Name every food you can think of made with corn. …I’ll wait…..
You probably mentioned corn-on-the-cob, cornmeal, cornbread, corn muffins, corn chowder, corn fritters, corn chex, corn pops, and corn flakes, corn oil, corn starch, corn syrup, and popcorn. Foods you may not have thought of include soda, pizza, cookies, candy, iced tea, hot chocolate and marshmallows, crackers, tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, hot dogs (ok, Corn King brand may have given that one away), bread, lunch meat, soup, baking powder, salad dressing, wine, beer, yogurt, and even beef, pork, chicken and eggs. And more, much more. It goes beyond food, too – aspirin, vitamins, toothpaste and cough syrup all may contain corn.
Corn is ubiquitous. It is difficult to find a food that does not, at least indirectly, contain corn. Some of the other ingredients listed on packages that indicate the presence of corn include dextrose, hydrolyzed protein, maltose, maltodextrin, modified food starch, and high fructose corn syrup. Why is this? Was this always so? No, we can thank government corn subsidies for this. Yes, your taxes pay farmers to grow corn. To the tune of 75 billion dollars from 1995 – 2009. Consequently, corn is cheap. Farmers feed it to their animals. Its by-products find their way into virtually every processed food available.
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to pay my blogging expenses, I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or link to products mentioned on this blog. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
As my kids (well, one of them more than the other) would ask when they were young, “what’s wrong with that?”. Well, it’s complicated, but let’s just name a few reasons it’s wrong:
- Allergies and intolerance to corn are on the rise. If you are included in the growing number of people who can’t tolerate corn, good luck in finding something to eat.
- Cows do not digest corn all that well. Consequently, cows on an all corn diet must be fed antibiotics to compensate for the problems caused by corn. This overuse of antibiotics means that illness which was once easily treated with antibiotics have now become resistant. Corn makes a cow’s digestive tract acidic which is a perfect environment for growth of pathogenic E. coli bacteria, causing illness and possible death to those who consume it. Common sense tells us to get those cows out to pasture and reduce the use of corn to eliminate this potentially lethal bacteria. But, no, the USDA approved processing plants now wash our ground beef with ammonia to solve this problem!
- Cheap corn means the products it contains are cheap. The problem is, these are the foods that are among the least healthy. Because they are cheap, they are more likely to be purchased by the poor. Diabetes and obesity are epidemic, even among children. There may be a link to these diseases and over consumption of high fructose corn syrup, a substance more difficult for our bodies to digest than sugar. Guess how the brilliant powers-that-be want to solve this problem? They want to tax food products that contain high fructose corn syrup! So, we get to be taxed to pay the farmers to grow the stuff and we get to be taxed again to buy it. Does this not make you insane?
- Corn subsidies allow the grain to be sold to other countries at prices below what it costs to produce. This pushes local farmers out of business because they cannot compete.
This is not a fad issue. THIS IS AN ISSUE OF JUSTICE. Of Biblical justice. It is a matter of being a good steward. The consequences of corn subsidies have touched every one of our lives and we are blind to it. This hurts the poor. This hurts our health. This hurts small farmers. I don’t care on which side of the political spectrum you are, which side started this, which side continues this. This is wrong.
The problem is complicated; the solutions are, too. For me, it means doing all I can to not buy these products. I rarely, if ever, go to McDonald’s or Burger King, among the largest purchasers of food-lot, ammonia washed beef. I buy grass fed beef, and pastured chicken and eggs from local farmers whom I can ask about their practices. I read ingredients and avoid any item with high fructose corn syrup or the other items I’ve listed above. I try to tell people without being obnoxious. Ok, maybe this article is a little obnoxious, but this is my blog, and I get to be obnoxious on my blog. And you know, this is not a burden. For me, it is a great joy to support local people, to watch over my family’s health, and to know I’ve voted with my purchasing dollars against corn subsidies.
Thank you for visiting Learning And Yearning. May "the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." Num 6:24-26