After reading ‘The Oil We Eat’ Following the Food Chain back to Iraq and watching the film King Corn I was deeply shocked and started becoming more intrigued about the food we eat. I thought King Corn was a more though provoking movie as it made me question more about the food I eat every day. For those of you who have not seen the movie, it is a about two friends who decide to grow an acre of corn after discovering that their bodies, and most Americans, have traces of corn in their bodies after a hair analysis. They then learn all about the history of corn and trace what happens to the corn they grow after it leaves their field and learn that most corn either is turned into corn syrup or becomes animal feed. It really awakens you to how processed some of our food can be.
It really makes you start thinking about what you are putting in your body; for example the bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats I ate this morning or the Snapple I’m currently drinking, both contain High Fructose Corn Syrup and I am slightly disgusted with myself when I think about where it came from and how it was made. The awful impact it had on the environment to grow that corn, process it, and turn it into food, makes me enjoy it so much less when I didn’t know anything about it. All the fertilizers and chemicals that are used to make crops grow faster and bigger usually end up polluting other areas of land through water runoff, cross pollinations, and many other ways.
In ‘The Oil We Eat’ Following the Food Chain back to Iraq Richard Manning says, “ The Mississippi River’s heavily fertilized effluvia has created a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey”. The state of New Jersey is roughly 9,000 square miles, which just means that there is a large area that is no longer inhabitable by living things and it’s all because of the chemicals we are putting in the ground. It’s even worse to think that almost every product in a normal grocery store is derived from either corn in the form of high fructose corn syrup or from corn based animal feed; both of which are two of the main leading contributors of the obesity epidemic in America.
Now when I eat food, I’m going to start thinking about all the energy that was used in getting it from soil to my plate. I will probably start buying more local and organic fruits and veggies because I don’t even want to think about all the harmful chemicals I have already ingested from the twenty years of eating mass produced food. Hopefully other people start realizing that what they eat has a significant impact on the environment.