Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Menus and King Corn

Before I post my menu for the week, I want to discuss a film I watched and a subject I am passionate about......fighting the food industry and educating myself and others about what we are eating!

Last night my husband and I watched the documentary film, King Corn.  Go rent it, Netflix it, download it today!  This documentary follows two college friends Ian and Curtis as they decide to grow an acre of corn to find out where their food really comes from.  They find out, that with the help of government assistance, genetically modified seeds, and nitrogen fertilizers, our country's most subsidized crop is the cheapest and dangerous foods.  Ian and Curtis follow their corn into the food system and find out many different problems with how we eat and how we farm.

Corn is everywhere....candy bars, magazines, sodas, margarine, batteries, and even body lotion.  It is no longer farmed to eat from the cob, it is raised to be processed and turned into anything and everything.  One of the worst productions that come from corn is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  HFCS is a sweetener that has been derived from corn and is used in many packaged and processed foods.  With more sweeteners available that have more high-calories, with little to none nutritional value, Americans are becoming overweight.  With this obesity epidemic, we are seeing more and more diet related diseases then ever before.  Our life span is shorter than it ever has been. 

Here are a few statistics I found interesting when I was watching the movie and researching this subject:
  • Over the past three decades, consumption of high fructose corn syrup has increased 1,000 percent.
  • The prevalence of obesity has quadrupled over the last 25 years among children between 6 and 11 years old.   It's doubled over the last 25 years in adolescences ages 12 to 19.5 years old.  
  • Between 1985 and 2000, the real price of fruits and vegetables increased by 40%, while prices  for soft drinks decreased by 24%.
  • At last count in 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that Americans eat 79 pounds of corn sweetener per year.
What can you do to nudge our food system in the right direction?
  • Buy local.  Start asking where your food comes from.  Buy at your local Farmers Markets.  Once the demand starts going up of fresher and more healthful food, it will be easier and cheaper to buy. 
  • Read your food labels and educate yourself on what is in your foods.
  • Educate yourself and your friends on what is going on in the food industries
  • If you eat meat....try grass-fed beef.  
  • Don't eat anything made from corn for a week.  Then try a month.  
My husband and I are really good at checking our labels and staying away from corn products but we are going to cut it out completely for a week and then try a month (then maybe longer).   I will keep you posted on how it goes for us.  Well....thanks for reading my lecture and go check out King Corn.

For all you Oregonians out there....come check out the new Tualatin Farmer's Market every Friday this summer starting June 25th (4-8pm) at the Tualatin Commons.  I am going to be volunteering my time to help with different areas of the market most of the Fridays.  See you there!

 Here is my menu for the week:

MONDAY-  Green Pizza made from homemade pizza dough with a fresh garden salad (I added olives to the pizza)

TUESDAY-  Veggie Fajitas and Spanish Rice (Husband's night to cook, while I work late.)

WEDNESDAY-  Tortellini Primavera

THURSDAY- Poached Salmon with a Piccata Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and CousCous- Having friends over for a special dinner! 

FRIDAY-  Broccoli, zucchini, olives in a garlic wine sauce over whole wheat pasta

SATURDAY-  Photographing a wedding ceremony @ the coast.  We will eat in Manzanita or Cannon Beach

SUNDAY-  Farm Day/BBQ- Salmon burgers, veggie kabobs, and pasta salad

 My Green Pizza from Monday evening!

For more menu planning inspirations, visit I'm an Organized Junkie.

Happy cooking & eating,

“For the first time in American history, our generation was at risk of having a shorter lifespan than our parents. And it was because of what we ate.” -Curtis Ellis


  1. Love this post! I am happy more people are realizing what we have been putting into our bodies. Good Job! And you also have a very nice meal plan too! Have a nice week!

  2. We watch out for corn too and only buy it on the cob at the farmers market or straight from the farm (Koch in Tualatin have awesome corn in the summertime).


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