Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Corn Made Me Do It.

Do you think of sugar when you see this?

Me neither.

I think of healthy, yummy vegetables. Cozy summer BBQ's. That wholesome yellow vegetable filled with yummy vitamins and topped with a bit of butter.

But is that really what we are getting when we pick up a bunch of corn form the grocery store or even the local farmer's summer fruit and veg stand?

And what the heck does it have to do with sugar?

It all stated with the bio tech revolution, and one of the key players is a company called Monsanto.

Let me try to explain the basics.

Monsanto makes pesticides and herbicides. One of their most successful products is Round Up. You have seen it in the local home improvement store. It can kill anything and everything overnight.

Farmers struggle with weeds. They can strangle crops, steal water supply and cut out light. This all makes their yield smaller and so they get less money. Farming corn is already a losing financial battle which is why the government subsidies what the farmer loses growing it.

So naturally the farmers and the government want to get the best yield for their money. That means using something to kill weeds. It is faster to use one thing that will kill everything. Something like Round Up.

But if round up kills everything what about the corn?

Monsanto genetically engineers Round Up Ready corn seed.

In order to change the DNA of a living cell you have to get into the cell. Obviously cells ar pretty great at keeping things out otherwise we would all be strangly mutated creatures suseptable to all kinds of things. But one thing has a fantastic track record of breaking into cells. Thats the virus.

Genetic engineers attach their engineered DNA to a virus in order to penetrate the cell and engineer it with the desired change.

How do they find out if their genetic change worked? They also attach an antibiotic immunity to the cell. That way they can test their work by applying an antibiotic.

So we have viruses and antibiotic immunities in our corn? And to top it all off the spray the heck out of it with Round Up, and then we eat it?

Okay okay. Lets not get too excited. All we have to do is try to avoid corn, right? I mean lets just buy organic corn, and we will be fine.

Nope. Four words. High Frutose Corn Syrup. And it's in everything. Don't believe me? Check the lable of almost anything in the grocery store. I mean anything. That is where the sugar comes in. HFCS is the cheap alternative to sugar and almost every food company uses it becasue it is more cost effective. Now when you pass a corn field you can think of soda, candy, ketchup, pretty much anything.

Oh, and American cattle that were traditionally allowed to graze for years on hay and grass to make market weight are now packed into feed farms where they are fed up to 90% corn diets.

"As we move on into this so-called bio tech revolution and we start producing more and more transgenic manipulations, we'll start seeing pieces of DNA interacting with each other in ways that are totally unpredictable...
I think this is probably the largest biological experiment humanity has ever entered into."
- Ignacio Chapela

In the next few blogs I will elaborate on what I have found out about American Beef and also High Fructose Corn Syrup.

But for now, if you want more information check out some of these links.




Or better yet rent THE FUTURE OF FOOD from Netflix.


  1. Rachel,

    I am following along! Yay for me that you are doing all the research...I have been concerned mostly about all the cleaners I use around the house. Two batty old ladies on the BBC (How Clean Is your House?) have opened my eyes to the harsh chemicals and the non-toxic alternatives to using chemicals as cleaners.

    I need to know if it is better for me to use sugar and sod the calories, or if using sugar substitutes (Splenda) is going to be bad in the long run.


  2. I'm SO into getting Green with you!

    I'm all about the soaps I use, what they do to the water and what they do to me! If our skin is the largest organ in/on ou bodies, think of all the CRAP that we absorb just by using pantene and dial (which, by the way, is made with tallow -- cow fat, it ties in with the cow/corn stuff).

    As for the lady above me, have her look into Zevia soda.. it uses Stevia to sweeten the drink and NO crappy fake sugar chemicals, HFCS or bad additives.

    I LOVE Green!