The “King Corn” movie is an engaging and subtly powerful documentary that gives a good insight into the effect corn is having on America’s waistline. It follows two recent Yale graduates, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, as they return to the rural countryside of Iowa to plant just one acre of corn. They are motivated by a desire to understand where their food really comes from and to reconnect with their roots. What they find raises questions about how we eat and how we farm.
President George W. Bush proudly said, “We’re now selling corn all around the world,” but what effect is this staple food having on the nation? Corn is ubiquitous in the American diet (many products in the grocery store are derived from corn) and its overproduction has contributed to epidemic levels of obesity. In the film, nutritionists also discuss the link between diabetes and high-fructose corn syrup.
The King Corn documentary traces the history of corn in modern America and the way things have changed. A farmer in the film, Don Clikeman, says, “We aren’t growing quality. We’re growing crap.”