Posted by: shoji | October 12, 2007

King Corn (movie trailer)

Here’s a trailer for King Corn. (Disclaimer: I have no idea whether this is a good movie or not, and I’m not endorsing it.)

Knowledge of our modern food system is vital to understanding policy. Corn is at the center of food, land use, energy, health (e.g., fast food), and other areas.

For a comprehensive (and readable) depiction, I can strongly recommend The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. The first part of the book details corn in the United States.

What strikes me is how longitudinal policy decisions (over many decades) slowly transformed our food chain into its modern incarnation. Moreover, the hyperspecialization of the corn-based food chain cannot be replaced quickly. The reason is that the existing infrastructure is substantial: heavy farm equipment, railroads (specifically designed for corn processing), storage facilities, confined animal feeding operations, etc.

Any farm policy that pulls away from our corn-based past and present will require thoughtful, long-term planning. Good luck with that.

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