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29 Mar

King Corn – Coming to PBS!

Back in September, we told you about a new independent film called King Corn that, as the title suggested, was poised to blow the roof off the concept of the American food industry by telling us that everything – and I mean everything – we eat contains corn!

As a reminder, the story focuses on two recent college grads who embark on a journey to grow their own crop of corn and follow the grain – yes, grain, not vegetable – cycle from seedling to dinner plate. Over the course of the film, the men learn about the rigors – or really, lack of – behind growing corn as well as all sorts of buried information about how corn has infiltrated just about every facet of our modern food chain.

Now, we are excited to inform you that the film, which got picked up for theatrical distribution last fall, will now be aired on PBS (check the local listings to figure out when you should tune in!) as part of its Emmy award-winning “Independent Lens” series.

While we’re super excited about the fact that the film is airing, we’re also pretty impressed with PBS’s promotional site for the film, which you can log on to here. We love the diaries of the Independent Lens staffers who decided, like the men in the film, to cut corn completely from their diets for one full week – plus the one staffer, Jen, dishes out some pretty good-sounding recipes! The website also condenses a number of tips and tricks you can employ – relatively painlessly – to reduce the amount of corn in your diet and your reliance on the corn industry as a whole.

Be sure to check what time the film will be airing in your region and let us know what you think! We’re sure you’ll be amaized!

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  1. Cool, I’d like to see it. Thanks for the tip. The book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” went into the whole corn thing in depth, also.

    Chris R wrote on March 29th, 2008
  2. This is great. I am unable to consume corn in any form (as well as gluten), and it can be hard to get people to understand just how pervasive this grain is in packaged foods of any sort — be they conventional, “natural”, organic, or vegan (though the last two are more likely to disclose it!).

    If the effects on cattle are anything like the effects on me, feeding corn to them should constitute animal cruelty. I’d rather pay the extra for grass-fed (though people have actually asked me if I need to avoid corn-fed beef due to the intolerance, which I find kind of funny).

    Ankoku-jin wrote on March 31st, 2008
  3. Ankoku-jin – that’s fascinating. I don’t tolerate any grain all that well, but I think corn is the worst. Several years ago I went to the doctor with food poisoning. My regular doc was on maternity leave, so I saw another doctor who wanted to put me on the BRAT diet until my system cleared whatever bug was causing the problem. I said, “I’ll eat the Bananas and Applesauce, but I can’t handle the Rice and Toast.” After a brief conversation, she ordered a celiac antibody test, and made an offhand comment that my problems with corn must be “something else,” since corn does not contain gluten. She never told me that the celiac test was useless if I hadn’t been eating gluten, which of course I hadn’t, since, as I’d told her, grains didn’t agree with me. I have always wished I’d thought fast enough to ask her what the “something else” was.

    Do you what causes your corn intolerance?

    Migraineur wrote on March 31st, 2008
  4. @Migraineur (interesting blog, btw) —

    It’s not known exactly what causes my inability to consume corn products, though it’s suspected that the protein in it is the problem, as I can consume other non-gluten starches and non-corn fructose (though I restrict those for other reasons). Any form of corn can cause the reaction, which is primarily GI upset and moderate-to-severe pain, though we suspect some other problems I have were caused by long-term damage to the gut.

    That latter makes it a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing: does my gluten intolerance cause the corn intolerance? Or vice-versa? Are they completely independent? We don’t know, and I’m too happy to be free of stomachaches to find out the hard way. 😉

    But… 30 years of stomachaches, bloating and worse, gone when I eliminated corn and wheat from my diet! 😮 (And to think that my childhood doctors and teachers thought I was making up those frequent tummyaches…)

    Ankoku-jin wrote on March 31st, 2008
  5. I just noticed your conversation on King Corn. I’m writing from Rocky Mountain PBS and indeed we will air King Corn on Tuesday, April 15 as part of the series, “Independent Lens.” Local times will vary but we air it at 10 p.m., right after another health-related program, Frontline’s “Sick Around the World.” There are a bunch of other health related programs this spring on PBS that most stations will carry.

    I agree that King Corn is exceptional — I’ve been lucky enough to screen it. Very valuable information on our diets and the health care crisis this country is facing in terms of obesity and diabetes…direct results of this country’s corn-based diets.

    Pam wrote on March 31st, 2008
  6. I just recently found out that citric acid, an additive in so many foods, can be from corn! Most food labels do not specify what type of citric acid is being added to the product and I try to avoid buying foods containing citric acid. I really wish the FDA would require that information to be disclosed on the label!

    DJ wrote on April 2nd, 2008
  7. From reading these posts it doesn’e appear that any of you know of Doug Kaufman and his TV show Know the Cause, to which Mark is a sponsor. 2002 JAMA report says thst all repeat all corn is contaminated with fungus!!! This fungus is causing exactly the problems you’re discribing. You might want to visit Dougs web site
    “might find some VERY interesting reading.

    Ed Pumilia wrote on April 4th, 2008
  8. Thank you for posting this! I would not have known about the showing otherwise. In my area (Raleigh NC) it’s only being shown this Friday morning at 2AM!! Wow….bet it will be watched by….ummm dozens?

    Cindy Moore wrote on April 22nd, 2008
  9. Hi

    I have a corn intolerance, and I wondered whether there is any evidence that I should avoid eating ‘corn-fed’ chicken, which is easy for me, as I live in the UK.

    I sympathise with you Americans, as I spent a rather tricky 2 months on a road trip around the US trying to avoid eating corn!

    Jane De Lacey wrote on May 10th, 2009
  10. I will be buying this DVD soon. I have heard a lot of positive things about it!

    Primal Toad wrote on July 10th, 2010
  11. Most food labels do not specify what type of citric acid is being added to the product and I try to avoid buying foods containing citric acid.

    basketball jordan shoes wrote on December 24th, 2010

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