One of King Corn's focus is the consequences of utilizing a large portion of the country's corn surplus to feed livestock.
Fifty years ago, cows in the United States, like others around the world, subsisted on a simple, natural diet of grass and hay.
In the early 1970's, though, when farmers were instructed to produce as much food as possible -- resulting in a tremendous surplus of corn -- cows' diets radically changed.
Gone was grass, in was corn (often mixed in with grains also foreign to cows' diets until that time).
Livestock breeders couldn't be happier about this change. On a corn diet, cows fatten up a lot quicker, especially when cruelly crowded in feedlots, literally unable to walk. In other words? More cow to sell in less time.
From a cow's standpoint, however, the glass isn't so full.
Cow's digestive systems are unable to handle corn and grains. Consequently, after a year of said diet (after 12 months, most are then sent to slaughterhouses), many cows get sick.
A sick cow, though, is useless to a breeder. So, as "insurance", antibiotics are mixed into their food supply. It is believed that antibiotic residue in the food we eat is partly responsible for developing antibiotic resistance in our own bodies!
Even with this precaution, many cows become sick to the point where their blood pH drops, often resulting in a life-threatening condition known as acidosis.
In fact, corn is so harmful to cows that if they were to eat it continuously for 18 months, their systems would go into overload, resulting in death.
According to King Corn, everyone who has eaten conventional beef in the United States over the past thirty years has eaten purely corn-fed meat.
This is especially troubling considering that the fat ratio in the United States' diet is completely imbalanced.
Ideally, we want our Omega 6 (an essential fatty acid found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and plants) and Omega 3 (another essential fatty acid, found in walnuts, flax, salmon, tuna) ratio to be approximately 4 to 1. Current estimates place ratios anywhere from 15:1 to 20:1!
What's wrong with that? These disproportionate numbers greatly increase our risk of developing inflammatory diseases, including Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and degenerative joint disease.
As if that weren't bad enough, beef from corn-fed cows contains as much as five times more unhealthy saturated fat than that of grass-fed cattle!
You can now see why having our food supply so saturated with corn -- which provides Omega 6 fatty acids -- is a problem.
Consider a fast-food meal of a hamburger, fries, and soda.
You are getting corn in your hamburger, both in the corn-fed beef and the bun (which contains high-fructose corn syrup).
The fries? Very likely fried in corn oil (it's the cheapest, and you know fast foot outlets are all about cutting costs and maximizing profit!)
The soda? If it's not diet, you're getting your share of high-fructose corn syrup as well.
Next time you're at the supermarket, read the ingredient lists of the foods you place in your cart, keeping track of how many items contain high-fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn oil, corn gluten, hydrolyzed corn, etc.
I have a feeling you'll be surprised.