Alarmed by signs of America’s bulging waistlines, best friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis set out to discover the key ingredient that quietly fuels the fast-food nation.
Their deep curiosity about the American food distribution system sets them on a path to Iowa, where they plant a single acre of corn and follow it from the seed to the dinner plate. With the help of some friendly neighbours, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when the two friends try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm.
As Ian and Curt discover, almost everything Americans eat contains corn. high fructose corn syrup, corn-fed meat, and corn-based processed foods are the staples of the modern diet. America’s record harvests of corn are supported by a government subsidy system that promotes corn production beyond all market demand.
King Corn is an informative and at times disturbing account of both the food Americans so readily consume without so much as a second thought, and the alarming state of the contemporary agricultural industry.