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King Corn

On a diabetic throne
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  October 17, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for King Corn.

Aaron Woolf films Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney in this measured documentary as they plant one acre of corn in Iowa and follow it through the food chain. The facts stagger, though they’re presented sans sensationalism and sometimes get lost in long shots of fields and crops. We plant 93 million acres of corn (as opposed to 2 million acres of veggies), and only a tiny percentage is the kind you’ll find on-the-cob at cookouts. Instead, it’s used as ethanol, animal feed, and most of all, sweetener; corn syrup is 60 percent cheaper than sugar, and a sure cause of the diabetes epidemic. Curt and Ian are likable (if a bit corn-fed themselves), and shots of cattle slums with future burgers illustrate the omnivore’s dilemma. (Michael Pollan is an interview subject.) We spend less money on food than any generation before us, but King Corn asks, at what price?
  Topics: Reviews , Michael Pollan, Curt Ellis, Ian Cheney
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