Why pick (on) corn?
"In the Popul Vuh, the creation stories of the Maya, corn is a central symbol of life. After
several attempts to create people, the eight primordial gods of the sea and sky finally get it right through
a mixture of blood, bones, and corn. In the same stories, the mythic "hero twins" plant corn outside the house
of their grandmother. If the corn withers and dies, they tell her, she will know that they have been killed.
"From the Maya to the White Mountain Apache to the six tribes that now make up the Iroquois nation, many of
the indigenous cultures of the Americas have an oral tradition in which corn plays a role. Today, the Iroquois
are still adding to theirs."
Co-op America Quarterly, No. 60, Summer 2003, pg. 23
Good Food: The Joy, Health & Security of It
Web link -- www.coopamerica.org
Corn has been the primary sustaining food for many cultures of the Americas.
So (it would seem) it isn't inherently a bad thing.
The problem today is that it has become an agribusiness
monocrop laden with chemicals and used primarily to make unhealthy processed drinks and foods (for humans and cows).
What is going on?
How can this happen?
How should we think about this?
It's a fact that food calories originating in farm products find their way to our tables and
they are the fuel of obesity, so...
Shall we fault the farmers for doing what they do best ?
How about blaming the food industries that make the high calorie products?
Then, of course, there are the advertisers driving sales, what about them?
And don't forget the agencies who monitor food quality, what are they up to?
Finally there are consumers repeatedly purchasing the goods, aren't we at fault?
This is a pretty good outline of the present day food chain, excluding politics and world
markets. The real answer about how we at the problems we have today lies in the history of
this food chain. Call it the industrialization of food. Call it the corporatization of farming.
Call it the homogenization of taste. These are all part of the story.
Complete answers could fill volumes.
For the sake of acting when and where we can, it may be best to concern ourselves with
"therapy" rather than with "diagnosis". It is accepted that this patient, our
public health, is sick.
Similar to "going off the grid", the approach used by alternative energy advocates,
the best answer to unhealthy food products is to step outside of the system - top to bottom.
Here are actions that make a difference:
Understand and support LLE's (Local Living Economies) ------ BALLE web site
Buy foods that are chemical and processing free
Shop in markets that buy from local farms - find the best food in your community
Shop at farmer's markets
Join the Slow Food movement ------------------------ Slow Food Movement web site
Above all, educate yourself and others
Web link - BALLE web site