In America, Corn is King

The Past, Present and Future of the Nation's Leading Crop

Perry McKenna
In America, Corn is King
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In America, Corn is King

This is a strange time in the life of corn. The 2012 US corn crop is getting smaller by the hour because of the terrible heat and drought in the Midwest. It's difficult to know what that means, because from a certain perspective, this country produces way too much corn. 

There's also a mild uproar over so-called "Agent Orange" corn, a strain genetically modified to be immune to the active ingredient in Agent Orange, the controversial Vietnam era herbicide. The idea is to start plating a crop that could be protected from weeds by 2,4-D, which is associated with all kinds of health problems. (Mmmmm, good!)
On our show today, you'll learn more about the odd linkage between humans and corn. For ancient MesoAmerican civilizations, it was a sacred substance that permeated all life.
Today, it does permeate all life. Corn is in everything.
Leave your comments below, e-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.



Corey writes:

I recently read Julius Caesar's book, "The Gallic War". He repeatedly and emphatically discussed the importance of securing his army's corn supply prior to campaigns throughout Western Europe. His army ran on corn! I didn't even know the ancient Romans had corn!

p.s. Thanks for the witty conversation, as usual. And I look forward to every issue of bicycling magazine to track your development as a cyclist. Hope the knee's ok...

David writes:

I saw King Corn and I liked it... I like documentaries that explain things well.

I have stopped having corn syrup as much as possible by cutting out soft drinks completely. I lost 10 pounds in the last month, by using sugar free kool aid and stuff like that, instead of carbonated beverages.

I love sweet corn , I ate some last week and I think our view of corn should be more nuanced. What your female guest just said, That we have industrialized corn is true and I think that's the narrative to pay attention to. Why did we do that?? Did we do it to feed more people??