Currently Browsing: Cornification of America

Researchers trace corn’s ancient history

Children of the teosinte:  Even though maize (Zea mays) is perhaps the most important crop in the Americas (for better or worse), until recently, we didn't know where it came from and when it was domesticated. Research by botanists, geneticists and archeologists has finally found the answers in a grass...

SF chef pulls corn from his menu

Souring on sweet corn: Daniel Patterson, the chef at the award-winning restaurant Coi in San Francisco, has renounced corn, saying that relentless breeding to find sweeter and sweeter hybrids that play to America's sweet palate has led to corn that "... is so sweet that it overpowers or undermines...

Asia could teach U.S. some new corn tricks

Thanks to fertile Midwestern plains, commodity-focused agricultural policy, a foreign policy that makes cheap petroleum a high priority, and an innovative agricultural industry, Americans are truly the 'people of the corn.' As the film "King Corn" and the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" have well documented,...

Beer me: Trolling for craft brews in an ocean of Bud

Out of fairness, I should begin this post by admitting that I do not actually like beer. Never a big drinker, when the urge hits, my tastes veer toward wine and, OK, a nip of whiskey. But just as I appreciate (and, in fact, spend my professional life studying) livestock production despite being a...

Getting corny: Video responses to the Corn Refiners’ HFCS campaign

Things have been far too serious around here lately, what with all these petitions and dire reports. Fortunately, a writer on Tufts' Comfood list-serv (yes, we poach lots of good ideas from there) has alerted us to a very fun way to waste some time and laugh, too: the anti-high fructose corn syrup ads that...

Sweet deal: High-fructose corn syrup price vs. consumption

Hansen's Natural Soda is replacing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with cane sugar in all its soft drinks. Given that most soda advertisements these days seem to involve a daredevil doing something dramatic like riding a bike out of an airplane, a slogan that contains "to the max" or "extreme" (preferably...

PBS’s Independent Lens is broadcasting (and celebrating) “King Corn” this week

The breakout indie documentary "King Corn" is on TV tonight and for the rest of the week on PBS's Independent Lens series. (Find your station and the schedule here.) We reviewed it last year when it came out, but if you never got around to seeing this lighthearted indictment of America's ubiquitous yellow...

Postcard from Orlando I: Your tax dollars at work

I have just returned from three days in Disney theme parks in Orlando. (No snarky jokes please, at least not from those of you who have yet to push a human out of your nether regions only to discover that children now emerge from the womb begging for a trip to Disney World.) Disney is a fascinating place,...

“Good Morning America” — you’re being cornified!

Thanks to reader Henry for alerting us to the recent appearance of "King Corn" filmmakers Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney on "Good Morning America" with Diane Sawyer. The 5-minute segment was a good summary of the movie's major points, particularly corn's role in American obesity, and also...

Digest – Commentary: Eating local gains political clout, food prices, corn crisis

Locavore motion: "The buy local train is leaving the station, and it's time for USDA to hear the whistle and get on board," says Vermont Senator Ginny Lyons in this op-ed. (Times Argus Online) Robbing the poor to sell to the poor: An economics lesson from Tom Philpott on what rising food prices...

Climate change already yielding food disruptions

A recurring theme of last fall's Kaw Valley Farm Tour was the terrible, killing freeze of the preceding spring. Now, scientists are suggesting that climate change may mean more of the same, and that's bad news for local food in places with four seasons, a.k.a. most of the country. The March issue of...

An adventure with live cuisine

Cocina Poblano. Regional Mexican cuisine complete with a live tortilla bar and a wide selection of high-end tequilas comes to Jack London Square. 499 Embarcadero West (at Washington), Oakland; (510) 451-4700. Lunch, dinner daily; weekend brunch. —San Francisco Chronicle I don't have the budget or time...

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