I live in Missouri, which is heavily reliant on corn production. I know a lot of the issues related to the large companies overtaking small independant farms, the fact its terrible for the soil and every native living thing except birds, and the fact that a lot of the economy here runs on corn production, but what are some of the other issues with it? I'm honestly curious because people here really dont like to talk about the downsides to corn and the fact its used in everything.
All of those things, plus it’s terrible on human health. It’s not just some sort of healthy eating propaganda; High Fructose Corn Syrup really does cause diabetes to soar more than any other sweetener or sugar and because it’s difficult to digest, corn is closely associated with digestive diseases and colon cancer.
But it’s in everything. It’s a filler in foods that don’t even list it. It’s what we feed to the animals we eat anyway. Things are fried in corn oil. Everything is corn. We live in a horrible nightmare of corn supremacy.
Interesting things ‘bout corn is that we almost intentionally farm and eat it in the least useful way possible.
Corn is one of humankind’s greatest inventions. Its closest wild relative is completely inedible. We have no idea how, because none of the intermediaries remain, but the Aztecs were able to genetically engineer a useless grass into an edible crop. The biological knowledge of the Americas was phenomenal compared to their peers (and even to ours today in some ways, we don’t have any idea how to turn grass into corn, much less as quickly as they did). AND the Aztecs knew how to farm and eat it without fucking up the environment and their bodies.
Corn grown by itself destroys the soil super quick. Traditional milpa farming grows tomatoes, beans, avocado and squash with corn, the smaller plants wrapping around the corn stalks. Here’s what is cool about that: it means you can continue farming on the same plot of land for thousands of years. That combination of plants keeps the soil healthy and keeps the nitrate cycle flowing. You can feed a whole village on a fraction of the amount of land.
Another benefit of that combination of plants? When you eat them together you get every single vitamin you need in one meal. Even the poorest Central American was getting almost three times the calories their European contemporaries across the ocean were getting. Not only that, but eating corn with beans and all those other vegetables is the only way to make corn digestible. Eating corn with the plants that help it grow the best also helps your body make the most use of it.
So corn wouldn’t even be the problem it is today except for the fact that we’re kind of idiots and also the economic system is designed to promote the kind of “corn in everything!” bs instead of “corn in some things and specifically with these other things that make it ok”