Here's a few more facts about corn that you might not know:
More than a quarter of products in the average American supermarket now contain corn or its derivatives, Pollan points out. It can be found in everything from coffee whitener, to candy, toothpaste and even charcoal briquettes.
High fructose corn syrup is not natural. It was invented in Japan in 1966 and made its way into the American diet beginning in the mid-1970s on the heels of sugar price supports enacted during the Nixon administration. High fructose corn syrup has two attributes that make it appealing to food manufacturers: it is cheaper than sucrose and it easily handled and transported because it is a liquid. Given its prevalence today in processed foods one could conclude that everything tastes a little better with some high fructose corn syrup in it.
For the history of corn products in our food, see The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan:
Pollan discusses how the corn plant came to dominate the American diet through a combination of biological, cultural, and political factors. He visits George Naylor's corn farm in Iowa to learn more about those factors. The role of petroleum in the cultivation and transportation of the American food supply is also discussed.
A fast food meal is used to illustrate the end result of the industrial food chain. He discusses that corn is dependent on humans.
Wow. Did you catch that last line? Corn is dependent on humans?
Somebody's smoking some pretty high-fructose marijuana!
I am pretty sure the corn plant can do without humans. It might not look quite the same several generations from now, but it will, surely, survive.
Just think ye, of the native version of the carrot! It probably didn't taste that good, but somebody ate it! These days, nobody complains about carrots....
And I have corn in my backyard. But it's corn on the cob. Does that make it wrong or right?
Soon, all our corn may be made in China. And little green men will visit, asking for the secret to long life. We will tell them, corn! Corn! Corn!
Now if we could only get it to do tricks!