BACON or Repair Bills-How to Use Corn

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There is increasing conflict over where the corn production in America should go. The attached from the Wall Street Journal is the opinion of the CEO Larry Pope of the Smithfield Company. As you know if you have read our posts, corn is overfertilized by a factor of 3 and is the major cause of nutrient pollution of our rivers and estuaries and it requires denuding vast areas of our Country, which along with short cuts in soil management has destroyed half our topsoil. Certainly after paying this terrible price we should use corn in the most effective way possible. Just a few years ago the amount of corn used for ethanol was insignificant today it may be as much as 40% of the crop.

So where should the corn be used to be most useful? No that’s the wrong question. Where should it go to do the least further damage?

First lets look at corn as a food or as a raw material to produce food.

It is the primary raw material in the production of processed food. These are the bottles, cans, boxes and bags found in the middle of the supermarket that according to former FDA head David Kessler are produced using high fructose corn sugar, corn oil fat, and salt in just the right proportion to make them addictive and a major cause of our obesity epidemic.

The primary use is still as feed for food animals and most goes to feed cattle and hogs. In 2009 and 2010 studies were published which looked at the long term risk factors for various cancers, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. These studies all reached the same conclusion. Corn fed Cattle and Hog based meat including processed meat is the leading risk factor in the initiation and development of these diseases.  These studies are all archived on our site.

But since this post is prompted by Smithfield. Lets look again at writer Mathew Scully’s experience at a Smithfield farrowing facility in North Carolina as described in his book “Dominion”. “ they lie there in iron crates covered in their own urine and excrement with broken legs from trying to escape or just to turn, covered with festering sores, tumors, ulcers, and lesions. They chew maniacally on their bars and chains or lie there like broken beings. When they are due they are dragged to other crates to have their piglets. Then its back to the gestation crate for another four months and so back and forth for seven or eight pregnancies until they finally expire from the punishment”.

Given the poor choices between cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity and equipment repair. I would prefer to continue to pay the cost of our small equipment repair. But a much more appropriate choice would be to see Mr. Pope behind bars where he belongs for animal abuse and killing people who eat his bacon. Of course we no longer do.

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