“He’s treating them like street punks, and they view themselves as captains of industry.”
The most exciting article you will read all year about frog genitals, the FDA, and an eccentric
, larger-than-life UC Berkeley scientist navigating class and culture issues while being psychologically profiled and pursued by a pesticide
giant he's locked himself into mortal combat with for the last decade.
"The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push"
The AP spent a year researching fuel ethanol from corn, and concludes that it's a bad idea: bad for the environment, bad for poor people, bad for everyone else. Not surprisingly, lobbyists for Big Corn have called it a hit piece and denounced it.
"Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner — has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation," according to documents obtained by [David Corn and] Mother Jones.
" Photo Gallery: Meet Groundswell's Major Players
. Also: Groundswell's Secret Crusade to Crush Karl Rove
// (Via) [more inside]
The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.
is a writer
for The New Inquiry
and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen
. [more inside]
"New Englanders learn quickly to dismiss the chowder where tomato ruins its gorgeous broth, where references to New York tarnish its name...However, few know how such distinctions came about in the first place, what processes were involved that resulted in one person's disgust of another's beloved creation, and why, to this day, do we stand by such convictions?" The New England Chowder Compendium
, from the McIntosh Cookery Collection
at the UMass Amherst library. [more inside]
In a triumph of both technology and agriculture, the Guinness World Record for largest Quick Response code has been claimed by a corn maze.* [more inside]
July 2012 was the hottest month ever recorded
in the continental United States. 70% of Iowa
- the nation's largest corn producer - is experiencing extreme or exceptional drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture rates 50% of the nation's corn crop
as poor or very poor. Today U.S. corn prices reached an all-time high
. The impact will be global
looks at "Why King Corn Wasn't Ready For The Drought"
does not believe in caring and sharing when it comes to corn on the cob. Snickers
pretty much feels the same way. (Sorry, no dubstep remix -- yet.)
Family Guy Corn Maze.
Walk among the rows with Brian and Stewie.
Coke is Corn.
(Among other things.) [more inside]
As the days get longer and warmer, and winter turns to spring, Americans of all stripes dream of only one thing: playing some Cornhole
in their backyard. Previously discussed on the blue,
Cornhole has become even more popular in recent years,
with the American Cornhole Organization (ACO)
endeavoring to give away more than $1,000,000 in prize money
in the coming years. Keep training, Cornholers, and one day you could claim the crown as King of Cornhole
(seriously). For inspiration, watch The Cornhole Song.
And if that's enough Cornhole for you, be sure to check out the upcoming scripted mockumentary "Cornhole: the Movie."
I’ve discovered that typically, a farmer who grows the forbidden fruits and vegetables on corn acreage not only has to give up his subsidy for the year on that acreage, he is also penalized the market value of the illicit crop, and runs the risk that those acres will be permanently ineligible for any subsidies in the future. (The penalties apply only to fruits and vegetables — if the farmer decides to grow another commodity crop, or even nothing at all, there’s no problem.)
If you can't stop demand, curtail production. One farmer's view on the power of commodity crops. [more inside]
Tonight, G.W. Bush is expected to announce a major energy proposal, including cutbacks in gas consumption
and development of alternative fuels. High on the list is the development and subsidisation of ethanol
, primarily as derived from corn. The utility of corn-based ethanol in meeting energy needs is debatable: its probably weakly energy positive
, but not very good in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. More immediately, the US drive towards corn based ethanol has had major effects on the price of corn, and has caused the otherwise free market leaning Mexican President Felipe Calderon to introduce price controls on tortillas
. Earth Policy Institute's Lester Brown
: "The competition for grain between the world’s 800 million motorists who want to maintain their mobility and its 2 billion poorest people who are simply trying to survive is emerging as an epic issue.
". (This post based on a column by Barrie McKenna
, unfortunately subscriber only.)
A WTO victory
came last week for the high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) industry. HFCS is that controversial
stuff that seemingly permeates
everything in American consumer foods, from Gatorade to cough drops. Mexico had slapped tariffs on HFCS dumping in 1998 but agreed to revoke them in 2007, a move that will expand HFCS outside what is almost exclusively a U.S. market. The industry is quite firm that HFCS is safe
, but there are
Saab's new 9-5 2.0T Biopower sedan
runs on regular boring old gas and pumps out a respectable 148 horses. But, because its an FFV (Flex-Fuel Vehicle)
, fill it up with E85 ethanol
(or grain alcohol
to you, rummy) and, with the turbo (especially suited for use in ethanol powered vehicles because of ethanol's higher octane
), the power is boosted to 184 horses while reducing the bulk of emissions and using a renewable energy source
. Only problem is that there are only a little over 300 ethanol fueling stations
in the US, it should be noted that the car is not aimed at the US market so our loss is Europe's gain
(though not for long). [More Inside]
Read about it last night in the latest issue of Popular Science. Previous MeFi ethanol post
is a superhero and is also an ear of corn. He's probably destined to fall for Zea Mays
, who is also corn, and encourages children to invent things
In a surprise move, Anheuser-Busch
has gone up against some of the biotech firms that would like to grow genetically-modified (GM) rice containing human DNA
. The biotech firm that grows it says that their rice contains synthetic human genes which the company hopes to harvest and refine for use in medicines to fight diarrhea and dehydration.
Anheuser-Busch's concerns are not with the science of biotech, but rather the risk of crop-contamination, as has happened with farmers not only in the U.S.
, but all over the world
. The USDA has issued rice-tweakers Ventria Bioscience
and 300 other biopharmers permission to plant various augmented plants around the country since 1995, but Anheuser-Busch is the first large corporation to threaten a boycott - unusual, because poultry and beef stock
(PDF) are fed this kind of thing every day
, and have been for the past 20 years
. I guess the Budweiser brewers just don't want to see 'dead people
' in their suds...
On the flip-side of this occurrence, the response of the anti-stem cell activists
has been nothing short of sensory-deprivation. Shouldn't six-packs, cornfields and Porky
be given the same human rights as the unborn?
Also related: Contaminated: The New Science of Food (quicktime movie)
You are fat because there is too much corn. [NYT, forfeit of first-born son required]
I love good old-fashioned materialism, and Michael Pollan (author of The Botany of Desire
) scores one for the team with this article on the economics of corn production. Are we fat because New Deal agricultural policy was overturned in the 70s by Rusty Butz? Now there's a trailing question we can all enjoy.
This was mentioned once before a year ago
but I missed out on the fun of the thread. It's that time of year again. This year there's over one hundred and thirty
locations. Since farming alone doesn't bring enough money in for many, I guess tourism & entertainment is a nice sideline for some farmers. Gee whiz! It looks like fun! Any Texan
MeFites interested in a road trip?
Planted over patches of American soil totalling twice the size of New York state, corn is our national symbol of agricultural dominance, writes Botany of Desire
author Michael Pollan in the NYTimes. But its proliferation may be to blame for some of the most socially and environmentally damaging food products
of the last 20 years.
Plus, since the market price for corn is $1 less per bushel than its production cost, you're not only paying the price of obesity, malnutrition, and environmental damage, you're paying, well, $1 a bushel in taxpayer-supported government subsidies.
Get lost in the Maize!
To me, Fall means pumpkins, pumpkin pie, turning leaves, and the annual trip to the cornfield maze! See if the one near you
has a haunted maze the few weekends before Halloween. (Advice: Bring a map. It's actually quite challenging, and calling for the Corn Cops to get you out is embarrassing.)
Every year I take a bunch of friends or co-workers to the maze, and to this day, this is my favorite bonding experience. What's your favorite teambuilding experience?
I wonder how many people went hungry
so this monstrosity could be built? And mom always said to not play with your food....
This is the most action-packed webcam site
I've seen in ages. Look at it grow! I think I saw a seedling sprout! It's hours and hours of fun, you can't see it all in one visit...