The incredible kernel of corn. Our country has taken it to a whole new level. So much so, it's controversial. The agricultural business has taken corn and widened its uses EVERYWHERE- animal feed, fuel, most crackers, soda, cereal, dairy products, processed fruits and vegetables, barbecue sauce, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, training fish to eat corn and the list goes on.
If we take a look at WHY corn is fed to animals, it is simply because it fattens them up quickly making them ready to slaughter that much sooner. Consumers are purchasing more fat than they used to because corn fed animals (meat you buy from the grocery store unless marked grass fed) put on weight in terms of fat. This also translates to higher PSA levels in humans that consume this type of meat. Which also enhances the possibilities of getting cancer (s). I'm not taking on the corn industry but as a country, we are a bit used to going overboard.
If we take a moment to reflect why America and her citizens are getting larger, aren't we just like the corn fed cattle? The things we grab at the grocery store are just by-products of corn. Sure, as individuals we are to blame somewhat by what we put in our mouths but when the packaging has a beautiful picture of a small farm that makes it appear to be healthy and the first ingredient is corn or a chemical breakdown of it -it does seem a little unfair. How many people look at the nutritional value of each item they buy and actually KNOW what that long, strange word is? The best tool the food industry uses is trickery. A multi-billion dollar industry that tricks its customers into buying their corn products.
So why corn? Its relatively cheap to produce. Look at the statistics on farming in the past 50 years. We have moved from small dairy farms, local fruits and vegetables, and buying local meats at the butcher shop to using four major companies to supply most our food needs. Imports coming from Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and all over the world to supply us with 'organic' and regular foods. Therefore, corn is cheap and why not mix it in everything. It makes customers feel full and the industry makes more money on top of it. They use trickery to make us believe what we are eating is healthy. Many people think corn IS healthy. Yes, in its most natural state, but otherwise it's really just a lump of starch. Our bodies are not meant to run on such a high percentage of starch so it just stores it as fat.
We pretend like we don't know why disease and gastric problems are on the rise. We blame it on things like people living longer yet think it is amazing when farmers and their spouses have been living "the good life" at 93. It's not because they are lucky. They have eaten closest to nature their entire lives. And yes, also because it is cheaper to produce your own vegetables, meat and fruit. Followed by storing it fresh by freezing or canning.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables and canning them for winter months is the most healthy and best thing you can do for your body. You know what ingredients have gone into it and can pronounce all of them. Its up to us to take care of our families and with the shortage of farmers in the U.S., we will see more corn products on the shelves to fill the need of 'new' industrialized products to purchase. In addition, we will continue to see fruits and vegetables sprayed with chemicals to keep bugs off of them and also to make them ripen pre-maturely. Not enough people are asking what this does to our bodies and more importantly, children. The answer is, like a chemically enhanced tomato or growth hormone given to dairy cattle, it ripens a child early the same way. Our children are the future, and without teaching them how a garden grows or where our food really comes from, they will be in a world of hurt - financially and economically. My children mean the world to me, like most parents feel about their children. So take a moment to ask yourself what you can do to eat healthier by growing your own or supporting local markets that sell homegrown. If given the choice, I believe most people would purchase closest to nature and would opt to buy the NON corn filled products.
Some ideas to get closer to nature:
1. Go to farmer's markets - load up for the week. If anything, they are FUN!
2. Hunt- wild game is SO good for you and very little fat.
3. Buy meat as grass fed from a local small farmer. Store in your freezer (you can get 1/4 cow up to a whole - same for pork). If you don't have a chest freezer, get one. Super cheap on Craigslist.
4. Buy fruits and vegetables in their season and if you know its good buy a lot and can it.
5. Grow a garden, even if its small! Don't forget a berry patch, super high in anti-oxidants and don't take up much room.
6. Look for free range chicken eggs- TRUST me, backyard chickens are on the rise- you can find these literally down the road from you from someone cheaper than the grocery store even if you live in the city.
7. Be on the prowl and keep your ears open for local products, ie honey, pork, beef, chicken, duck, apples, etc. Closest to home is best for your body. The more you put your feelers out, the more you will find. People that raise products like these LOVE to talk about it and the resources will start pouring out.
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