Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is divided into three sections: corn, grass and forest. This review will cover part I of three, which are all within the corn section. Pollen starts with corn, just one kernel of it in a field in Iowa, and tries to track its journey to our dinner plates. It turns out an unexpected amount of corn appears in processed foods, non-food products and diets of animals who were never meant to eat it. This section will make you take a hard look at how prevalent corn is in our lives and why. In Part I, the Industrial Food-corn, takes the reader from the farm, to the feedlot, following the processing plant and finally to the consumer. The Farm
Corn can be grown year round on the same land with the use of fertilizer from cattle, and augmenting plant genetics to create hybrid strains of corn. This has resulted in corn becoming the most dominant force in industrialized agriculture. Thus, cheap corn makes it profitable to fatten cattle on feedlots instead of grazing on grass, and raise chickens in giant factories than in farmyards. The Feedlot
Mr. Pollan estimates approximately 60% of livestock end up in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). The cattle are fed three times a day, of a mixture of corn, beef tallow from the slaughterhouse, or chicken litter and drugs digest this mixture. “Its chief advantage is that cows fed corn, a compact source of caloric energy, get fat quickly; their flesh also marbles well, giving it a taste and texture American consumers have come to like”(Pg. 5). Cattle evolved eating grass, not grain. The Processing Plant
Pollan estimates that about 18,000 of the 90,000 kernels in a bushel of commodity corn leave the field and go to processing plants, where food science takes over, creating corn oil, corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, even xanthan gum. Corn is also used to create ethanol additives in some gasoline’s, adhesives, coatings, stabilizers, thickeners, gels, and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document