Monday, February 28, 2011

Is it Food?

One of the wonderful things about having multiple children is watching them teach each other things.  There's been a lot of that going on around here lately.  Henry has given Violet several lessons on how to draw cars and vans (her speciality is people, he thought she should branch out).  The whole family has been trying to teach Ivy how to talk and walk.  She has been very receptive to the talking thing, and really likes to stand, but has absolutely no interest in putting one foot in front of the other.

Yesterday Mitchell decided that Ivy eats way too much paper, and he was going to teach her the difference between what is food and what is not.  He plopped her in the high chair with some various objects and pointed.

"Not food!"

Then he poured some Cheerios on her tray.

"That's food!"

She took the hint and gobbled up the Cheerios.  When those were gone she stuck the other stuff in her mouth too.  I love babies.

I just recently watched "King Corn", a documentary following a pair of friends as they try to plant an acre of corn in Iowa and follow it through to the plate.  It was really sad.  I highly recommend you watch it yourself, but here are some of the highlights:

*A vast majority of the carbon in our bodies originates from corn.  Corn, corn syrup, cornfed meat, cornstarch - corn is in EVERYTHING.

*Most of corn grown in the United States is not fit for human consumption.  You have to feed it to a cow or turn it into high fructose corn syrup before we can eat it.

*Cows can't eat that corn either.  We feed it to them for about 150 days and then we slaughter them for meat.  If we didn't slaughter them they would get sick and die because cows aren't meant to eat that crap.

*Most of the alterations made to today's corn isn't to make it produce more ears or to taste better or be more nutritious.  They are made to be able to grow the most plants per acre.  Like little inedible corn cities.  Or rather, huge inedible corn cities since the family farm has been under attack for years.

But I'll let you watch it yourself.

As Mitch gave Ivy her lesson about what is food and what isn't, I was just reminded about the scene where they try to eat the corn they grew and discover that it's inedible.  Sad.  It can be such a tricky thing these days to figure out what is really food and what isn't.

Mama Tea over at "A Farmish Kind of Life" just had a great post about a new book she read called "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan.  One of the rules is "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."  Seems like good sense to me, though it's trickier than it seems now.

Our book club is starting to read another food book - "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver.  I just requested it from the library so I'll let you know how it is after I get a chance to read it.

Lots of food-learning going on around here!

If you're feeling inspired to do a little more food-learning of your own, then head on over to Mama Tea's because she's having a giveaway over there.  You could win your own copy of "Food Rules".  I know I'm heading over to enter, it sounds like a good one!

Good day, good eating, and good luck :-)


  1. Thanks for posting about this and spreading the word! I have not seen King Corn, but I have seen Food Inc, which was equally as disturbing. I haven't read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle....but its on my list! :)

  2. I'm not so not brave enough to watch either of those movies!! :-) I'd be sick to my stomach for weeks....

    We avoid corn like the plague around here as well. It's icky, in so many ways.


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