King Corn

King Corn

You Are What You Eat

DVD - 2008
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Fueled by curiosity and a dash of naiveté, college buddies Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis return to their ancestral home of Greene, Iowa, to find out how the modest corn kernel conquered America. With the help of real farmers, powerful fertilizer, government aid, and genetically modified seeds, the friends manage to grow one acre of corn. Along the way, they unlock the hidden truths about America's modern food system.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : Docurama Films : Distributed by New Video, c2008
ISBN: 9781422913512
Branch Call Number: DVD 633.15 KIN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Feb 14, 2015

So, guess what cornstarch, corn syrup, and, yes, America's massive, fast-food industry all have in direct connection with each other? (Believe me, the answer to that question should be pretty obvious to most thinking viewers)

To be honest - It wasn't this documentary's subject matter (which certainly held some noteworthy potential) that this viewer found to be supremely dull and forgettable - No - It was, above all else, King Corn's pedestrian presentation and the lacklustre personalities of its 2 producers/stars (who injected themselves into the story) that promptly lost some serious points for this real-life investigation into fast-food's #1 ingredient.

To say that King Corn could have been a helluva lot better, on all counts, would truly be an understatement of the highest order.

By the time that King Corn's producers, Ian Cheney & Curt Ellis, had made their monumental revelation about corn and its connection with fast-food, this bored viewer had already figured things out for himself and had lost significant interest in this tired documentary well within the first 30 of its 90-minute running time.

m
Monolith
Mar 16, 2013

Great job by these young filmmakers. Government subsidized farmers growing corn seed that's: fertilized with ammonia (yum); genetically modified to resist herbicides (slurp); fed to confined cattle until they're bloated and bursting at the seams, and almost dead with sickness, and combatively pumped up with antibiotics (tasty); made into high fructose corn syrup that's injected into virtually everything... and popped out as supersized empty calories in "Early Death Meals" at your local smiling Ronald McDonald franchise. Who's really the clown here? I was shocked to realize that the popcorn I was snacking on while watching this documentary was MADE OF CORN, TOO!! It's a conspiracy...

d
dprodrig
Sep 10, 2012

A very unpretentious and sincere look at corn. All aspects of corn, how it's everywhere in our food, whether as a primary ingredient or a source of food for a primary ingredient; why it's in our food - such as how subsedies influence what farmers may / may not grow, and whether it is good for us. It would have had more impact had subsidies on corn been compared to other possible, very popular crops like soy. Farming's a hard business and the role of the political system and it's impact on the food system cannot be viewed separately. Too bad they cut the scenes where they randomly offer corn to people on the street, that's funny. Good thing for extras (although the basement videos are kind of blah).

FishbowlB77 Jul 23, 2012

Corn. We can live with it, but we can't live without it.

madame_librarian Jan 20, 2011

We are made of corn. When Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis happened upon this astounding fact, they needed to know more: how does the corn get from the corn plant deep into the very molecular structures of our bodies? This became the motivation for their slightly tongue-in cheek documentary film of a road trip to the corn capitol of the U.S.-- Iowa.
With many stops en route at McDonalds (almost everything on that menu is corn-based), Cheney and Ellis follow the corn trail from field to grain elevator to processor to feed lot to beef (and poultry) slaughterhouse to supermarket to our dinner table (or bag of take-out). You don’t eat meat, you say? Ah, but practically every aisle of the store is stocked with corn in its permutation as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), so vegetarians are made of corn, too. Echoing other authors--Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma (394.12 Polla.M) and Eric Schlosser in Fast Food Nation (394.12 Schlo.E 2005)—albeit in a lighter tone, these young documentarians offer viewers an entertaining and enlightening 90 minutes.
-Madame Librarian

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m
Monolith
Mar 16, 2013

Don Clikeman, farmer: "We aren't growing quality... We're growing crap! Poorest quality crap the world's ever seen -- we're growing it today." Ian Cheney: "You don't eat the corn that you grow." Elna Clikeman: "No... Not saying that I might not grind up a little bit for some corn meal, but I... basically don't." Don Clikeman: "I don't grow, necessarily grow, my corn for food. I don't care what's done with it! I'm selling it! That's the bottom line."

m
Monolith
Mar 16, 2013

Michael Pollan, University of California: "All that cheap... surplus corn goes somewhere, and in fact, a lot of it is going onto our bodies."

m
Monolith
Mar 16, 2013

Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group: "There is a role that the subsidies have played in making... the raw material available for... an overweight society... We subsidize the "Happy Meals" but we don't subsidize the healthy ones."

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