Sunday, July 20, 2008

Corn Walking




I'm reading a really interesting book right called The Omnivore's Dillema by Michael Pollan http://www.michaelpollan.com/ . The book is about, among other things: corn. It's really a natural history of food and farming in general but the main character is corn and how it has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives from the food we eat, the food we feed our food, the things we use, the fuel we spend, the clothes we wear and the products that go onto our bodies and skin. It's really eye opening. It's almost a conspiracy when you get right down to it. You might be surprised. I was. Take a moment to go check out your cupboard and see how many of the items in there list one or more of the following ingredients. It will be a miracle if ALL of them don't list at least one and probably SEVERAL of the them. Look especially for high fructose corn syrup. It's a biggie.

Corn Derivatives :

This list provides a number of corn bi-products. The following may be ingredients which you would want to avoid if you have corn allergies or are seeking to avoid genetically modified foods. The list is only partial and grows as we learn more information.

Zein: from corn protein, used as a vitamin coating.

Xanthan Gum: from corn sugar, used as a food thickener.

MSG/Glutamic acid/hydrolyzed vegetable protein or starch: used as flavour enhancers.

Inositol/inosinate:an ingredient in vitamin B supplements.

Oleic acid and Bi-products: from vegetable oils, used variously especially in cosmetics.

Stearic acid and Bi-products: from cottonseed, corn or other vegetable oils, used variously.

Lactic Acid: from fermented corn and potato starch

Lecithin:emulsifier and supplement from corn or soy.

Linoleic Acid: from vegetable oils, such as cottonseed and soybean.

Lysine:Amino acid often derived from corn.

Ascorbic Acid:Vitamin C supplement most often derived from corn.

Phospholipids:derived from lecithin (see above).

Pectin:could be derived from corn sugars, such as dextrose or fructose.

Phytic Acid: used to chelate heavy metals for supplements


CORN SUGARS:

Dextrose, fructose, dextri-maltose, maltodextrin, cyclodextrin, diacetyl, amylose, amylopectin, invert sugar, isomalt, levulose, monosaccharide, lactate condensation, polyamino sugar condensate, confectioner's sugar.

OTHER INGREDIENTS WHICH MAY CONTAIN CORN:

Baking Powder, white vinegar, aspartame, methanol, citric acid, table salt (dextrose), caramel, excipients and bill binders, malt, mono and diglycerides, sorbitol, vanilla extract, milo starch.


Did you find a few? I don't know how this story ends yet, I'm halfway through, but I don't think it's going to have a happily ever after. Makes me glad we have all this space to start experimenting with our gardens, farming and livestock.

Life is good in the country. Now if I can just learn to like green vegetables.

I do like corn. Figures.

1 comment:

  1. It is absolutely amazing how many products we eat and use that contain these products. Each day in the Market prices increase and some of them make a person scratch their head as to why, until the realization that the product contains a corn derivative. Soda will increase big time as of August 1st due to the corn syrup contained in it. Cooking oil has sky rocketed and so has sugar substitutes. Really, who would have thought corn could provide so much use, in so many areas. Being a corn husker girl, I always took for granted the abundance of corn. Never thought twice about what MORE it did than just picking an ear and enjoying the sweet, tasty kernels pop in my mouth!!

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