King Corn


We’ve got corn coming out of our ears. And our hair. That’s part of what got a couple of Yale grads to head to Iowa and grow their own acre of the over-abundant, golden grain. After a lab finds that their follicles contain large amounts of carbon (mostly corn-based) the two friends decide to get to the bottom of the process—from seed to stomach—and they find some startling facts along the way. Turns out most of the corn produced in Iowa (literally mountains) doesn’t end up on our plates slathered in butter, but into the corn syrup in our sodas and processed foods, with the bulk of it ending up in the bellies of cattle for quick fattening. It also turns out that corn isn’t so good for our bovine friends, and causes ulcers, which lead to the animals being pumped full of antibiotics, which aren’t so good for us. Not good at all. In the process of breaking down the process, the narrators touch on the death of the family farm, the government’s gratuitous farm subsidies, and Americans’ unhealthy addiction to fast food. The documentary’s snappy editing and narration go down easy—even if the realities are difficult to swallow.