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Ca-razy Corn
Events This Week
Feed the Fire

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What's New Online
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Om Organics


Tasty Bites 2.1.05
Event updates every week; more extensive edibles every so often

Ca-razy Corn

Anyone watch the TV show The West Wing lately? Even if you hate it, you have to admit it's pretty good at touching on a wide range of real U.S. issues.

Last week's episode, King Corn, was about the ethanol hype and how the real facts aren't being communicated clearly to the public. Ethanol is an allegedly amazing fuel additive - derived from corn. Too bad the truth isn't so supportive.

Which relates perfectly to an enlightening talk given by Michael Pollan a few weeks ago.

2-second overview: Corn is the biggest cash crop and largest, single mono-culture, covering 80 million acres in the U.S. It's bought and sold cheap, and we give government subsidies to the largest producers.

What to do with all this dang corn? Sell it in its raw state (yes), process it into foods (yes), export it like crazy for cheap (yes), use it to feed animals, even animals that can't naturally digest it (yes), formulate food sweeteners, oils & thickeners a la high fructose syrup, corn oil & dextrose (yes), formulate fuel additives a la ethanol (yes).

Wouldn't it be nice to just diversify our crops instead of promoting overproduction, administering antibiotics to cattle for corn digestion, and spreading unhealthy sweeteners into almost all processed foods & drinks?

Ahhh, that would be lovely.

Fun facts!

  • Of 10,000 items in a typical grocery store, at least 2,500 use corn in some form during production or processing.
  • Your bacon and egg breakfast, glass of milk at lunch, or hamburger for supper were all produced with US corn.
  • Besides food for human and livestock consumption, corn is used in paint, paper products, cosmetics, tires, fuel, plastics, textiles, explosives, and wallboard among other things.
  • In the US, corn leads all other crops in value and volume of production more than double that of any other crop.

Read more about:
Diversified growing vs subsidized agribusinesses
Michael Pollan's thoughts on corn
Ethanol in West Wing

And about high fructose syrup:
Making it
Its GMO-corn constituents
Fattening you up

Events This Week

Complete Diet Mini-Farming
Sat, 2/5/05, 10:30am-12:30pm+ & 2:00pm-4:00pm+
Common Ground, 559 College Ave in Palo Alto; $21/person
Taught by John Jeavons, author of "How To Grow More Vegetables". Does your desire for better nutrition have you wondering if you could live off your land? This class will show you how to plan a garden or mini-farm that will produce healthy, nutritious food and be highly productive as well as truly sustainable, in the smallest space possible. (2 classes available.)

Oliveto Whole Hog Dinners
Tue-Fri, 2/8/05-2/11/05
Oliveto, 5655 College Ave. in Oakland
It's pig time! The wintertime tradition of Italian, French and other farmers taking a hog and preparing it-all of it-for provisions and treats for the upcoming year. Oliveto has been preparing naturally raised whole hogs for several months, filling their larder for this year's Whole Hog Dinners. Click the link for more info about the happy hogs and menu.

Feed the Fire!

Even a little snack. If you use these newsletters, use our website, or simply enjoy having delicious, organic food in the Bay Area, please support our programs that serve local, organic farms and the community. Om Organics is a project of the San Francisco Foundation - Community Initiative Funds, and can only continue with the help of contributions from conscientious people like you!

Any amount is appreciated!
You can make a donation:

  • via to
  • by credit card: via the SFF CIF donation page
  • by check: "Om Organics: Project of SFF CIF", 225 Bush St. #500, SF, CA 94104


2005 Om Organics 2.1.05-15