Finally...I had a chance to sit down this weekend and watch King Corn.
It was even better than I expected, partly because it was chock full of the type of information about processed corn, especially high fructose corn syrup, that I've been craving.
I was pleased that the documentary, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the progressive folks at Newman's Own, wasn't a gotcha flick. Curt and Ian were respectful of their subjects and, while they were curious and clearly out of their element, they didn't condescend or ridicule.
And I was happy to see that it wasn't anti-corn (despite the current Corn Free Challenge) and it wasn't anti-farmer.
The documentary, which was made over a three-year period, did leave out a key part of America's corn crop...the corn that goes to producing ethanol. But since the film concentrated primarily on food consumption and corn processed for food ingredients and animal feed, I didn't miss it much. Still, I'd love to see King Corn II: The Impact of Ethanol.
Curt and Ian did a beautiful job filming...from capturing the look and feel of a small Midwestern town and the various facets of the agricultural community to depicting the sheer volume of corn produced in this country (loved the scene in which Curt climbs a literal mountain of corn).
As someone who gets flustered by statistics and anything math related, I appreciated the creative way the producers used an old Fischer Price Little People Farm to show how corn production has changed from the time when Curt and Ian's great grandfathers farmed land in rural Greene, Iowa.
After seeing the film, I'm less inclined to work too hard to go corn free for the rest of November. I'm already pretty close to eradicating high fructose corn syrup from our diets...at least from the food I prepare, even processed foods (thanks to Whole Foods), at home.
But, after seeing feed lots, I'm definitely more inclined to seek out grass-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy products. That's easier to do with a Whole Foods nearby. Still, WF is pretty pricey, so I'll keep trying to shop around.