King Corn is being hailed as the Super Size Me of the farming industry: Two friends (Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney) from Boston move to Iowa to raise corn, and along the way they find out how the farming industry really works in America.
From the NY Times:
Mr. Ellis and Mr. Cheney moved to Iowa, in 2003, where they grew an acre of corn and followed it from the ground to the town’s overflowing grain elevators and beyond. Their journey took them to Colorado, where corn-fed cows stood shoulder to shoulder in their own excrement waiting to become cheap hamburgers, and it took them as well to Brooklyn to examine how high fructose corn syrup in sodas has contributed to the nation’s high obesity and diabetes rates.
We're not growing quality, we're growing crap.
Propped up by irrational subsidies and massive doses of fertilizer and herbicide, Midwestern corn production reaches new highs almost every year. Most of the golden grain is not going to wholesome summertime dinners but rather into the production of cattle feed and high-fructose corn syrup for soft drinks and other sweetened products. Corn is ubiquitous in the American diet even if you think you're not eating it, and the deranged overproduction of corn instituted in the Nixon era has directly contributed to epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes. Thankfully, this information arrives via a graceful and frequently humorous film that captures the idiosyncrasies of its characters and never hectors.
If you're at all interested in sustainable agriculture and/or nutrition, this movie looks like a good one.
UPDATE: Looks like the Grand Illusion will be showing the movie, though there aren't any dates listed yet. Road-trippers can see it in Portland at the Hollywood Theater beginning Nov. 9.
In the mean time, check out Curt Ellis's blog on Culinate.com.
*quotes above were taken from the trailor on www.kingcorn.net.