corn on the cob

An Open Letter to Coca Cola

Dear Coca Cola,
I have an idea and I think you are going to like it.

You see, Coke.  Can I call you “Coke?”  Good.

You see, Coke, your product, though tasty and refreshing, isn’t exactly healthy.  Now that in and of itself is not a problem.  After all this is America and if a citizen wants to consume something that is not-healthy that is their right.  The problem is that your products go beyond not-healthy; they are toxic.

Sure most of the ingredients in your soft drinks are benign but there is one ingredient that is the primary cause of the rise in cancer, Diabetes and obesity in the country over the past 30 years.  You know what ingredient I am talking about, High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I think you call him HFCS.  It’s a nickname or a handle or something.  Maybe it’s his Twitter account.  I don’t know.

Now, the US Government knows that HFCS is toxic but they don’t want to come out and say it.  You see, there’s a company named Monsanto (you know who I’m talking about) and they not only invented HFCS but they also manufacture the main ingredient in making it, Genetically Modified Corn.  So Monsanto doesn’t want the masses knowing their creation is lethal.  Therefore they entered into a “business” agreement with the White House.

Now this is not a recent event, they did it back in 1991 and they have maintained a flow of “support” to the Oval Office ever since.  In fact, it appears Monsanto has increased that “support” in the last year and a half.  We’ve noticed a lot of landscaping being done by the new tenets.  These upgrades coincide with Monsanto lobbyists taking on policy making positions within the departments that are supposed to regulate them.

Equate it to our criminal system.  It doesn’t matter how much evidence the police (modern science) compiles if the Prosecutor (USDA, FDA) doesn’t indict then the jury never gets to hear that evidence.  And just to be on the safe side they (Monsanto) also make sure that the Judge (the President) will throw out the verdict.

I know what you are saying, Coke, calm down.  No it is not your fault that our government is corrupt.  But here’s the rub, rather than admit that HFCS is a problem they are calling ALL forms of sugar evil and are even threatening to levy a tax on soft drinks so that people can’t afford them anymore.

Here’s my idea: you come out and admit that HFCS is toxic.  It doesn’t even have to be an out and out admission just say that recent studies have brought into question the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup.  And say that you are going to offer an option.  Say you are doing it for the good of the people; we always buy that because we want to believe it is true.  The government loves to use that one themselves.

Say that you are now going to offer all of your great Coke products in both the economical HFCS recipe and for the “more discerning” Coke lover a recipe sweetened with all natural cane sugar called Coke Premium.  If you phrase it right people will pay the extra five or ten cents you charge per serving.

In fact, it may generate the kind of sales you got when you did the whole “New Coke” thing just to disguise the fact that you changed to HFCS to begin with.  People will be rushing the stores to try Coke Premium.  Not to mention all of the labs and university science programs that will be buying both products so they can do head-to-head comparisons as to how they effect our health.

I’m telling you, Coke, this is a good idea that takes care of everyone.  Monsanto still gets to sell their poison, the government gets to continue taking kick backs from Monsanto, you get to keep selling cheap soft drinks to a lazy consumer that believes water is bland and tea is too much trouble and those of us who enjoy a Coke now and then but not the effects of HFCS can splurge on Coke that tastes like the Coke of old.

I’m telling you, it’s brilliant.



SodaStream USA Save the Planet 4

The Corn Supremacy – A Trilogy

The following is a work of fiction.  Though much of the information is documented fact certain elements have been fictionalized.

St. Louis, Missouri
Realizing that the manipulation of the federal government that had steam rolled their genetically modified corn into the nation’s food supply was over with the election of Ronald Reagan, Monsanto took their operations underground.  They would spend the 1980’s cross pollinating their corn with corn free of their still untested genetic modifications.

Why you may ask would they do that?  Because if they could show modified genes in the corn being grown on farms that did not purchase their seed from Monsanto they then could claim trademark infringement.  If they could convince a judge that their trademark had been infringed upon they would offer the farmer a settlement – either purchase a licensing agreement for growing Monsanto corn or we’ll take your farm away.

The plan was simple really, just plant GM corn up wind from real corn; let Mother Nature do the rest.  Of course to be on the safe side they would load trucks with plenty of pollen from their Frankencorn.  The trucks had no destination, their job was simply to drive by field after field of real corn letting the pollen do its thing.

FrankenfoodIt was also during this underground period that Monsanto began developing other GM crops.  They expanded to canola and soy bean with great success.  Today if there is a plant that springs from a seed, Monsanto has a mutant version of it.

It was during the George H. W. Bush administration that Monsanto was able to infiltrate the US Government again.  Michael Taylor, a lifelong Monsanto lobbyist, was appointed as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy.  Despite having no training or practical knowledge of food science or biology, Taylor was passed off as an expert on food safety.  Years later the Huffington Post would describe Taylor as, “The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history. . . ”

It didn’t take long for Monsanto’s mole to begin manipulating policy in favor of Big Ag though at the peril of the American public.  It was Taylor who championed the concept of substantial equivalence which states that genetically modified foods should be considered the same as natural foods and therefore require no testing.

Substantial equivalence remains the policy at the FDA to this day.  In addition to opening the flood gates to untested mutant produce, Taylor was also instrumental in legalizing the genetically modified bovine growth hormone (BGH).

Taylor’s tenure with the FDA began what is now referred to as the Monsanto revolving door, a series of Big Ag cronies placed in positions of great influence within government departments that regulate Big Ag.

When the elder Bush’s tenure ended Taylor returned to the private sector where he was rewarded for his work at the FDA by being named vice-president of Monsanto.  There he would instruct a whole generation of Monsanto moles that would weave in and out of the FDA and USDA during the Clinton and George W. Bush years.

The 16 years of Clinton/Bush would see Monsanto’s GM corn sneak its way into 80% of the US food supply.  Cancer, Type II Diabetes and child obesity have sky rocketed, the result of which has put a colossal strain on the nation’s health care system driving prices up.  Many politicians have begun heavily investing in pharmaceutical companies despite the clear conflict of interest.

Monsanto became the predominant recipient of the US farm subsidies that were intended for family-owned farms, not factory farms run by corporations.  With those billions of dollars in farm subsidies, Monsanto was able to under cut the price of it’s product so that they all but eliminated the family farm.  By throwing some of that cash at a handful of Federal judges Monsanto slowly began absorbing many of the remaining family farms after they were found guilty of unintentionally infringing on Monsanto’s trademarked seeds.

With the world on the brink of collapse only a savior can preserve the Union and slay the corporate dragon.

Get caught up by reading The Corn Identity.  Next time The Corn Ultimatum.

Next time, The Corn Supremacy.

The Corn Identity – A Trilogy

The following is a work of fiction.  Though much of the information is documented fact certain elements have been fictionalized.

Washington D.C.
The year is 1977.  Newly elected President Jimmy Carter takes the reins of country in the throws of controversy and embarrassment.  A good man at heart, Carter is thrust into the corrupt world of national politics.  The previous President, Richard Nixon resigned from office after admitting his knowledge in what, in retrospect, was a meaningless act.  Watergate.

Looking back now Watergate was, to quote the bard William Shakespeare, much ado about nothing.  A harmless misdemeanor that in no way threatened the American way.  But the facts are the facts, the President of the United States was a party to a crime.  That in and of itself is nothing new.  Andrew Jackson defied a Supreme Court order and committed genocide.  John and Bobby Kennedy murdered Marilyn Monroe.  The difference with Watergate is that there was proof.

Feeling betrayed by Nixon and the Republican Party as a whole the American people elected a no-name Democrat from Plains, Georgia.  Carter’s Liberal, almost Socialist leanings were born from a genuine concern.  Jimmy Carter cared about people, their lives, their prosperity even their souls.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Chief among his passions Carter stated, “We must have a comprehensive program of national health insurance.”  The country did not agree.  The American people did not like the government having that much control over their lives.  Plus what industry had the US Government ever taken over that did not get immediately worse?

St. Louis, Missouri
The powerful chemical corporation, Monsanto, has just developed a new process for making corn resistant to it’s popular insecticides.  They called their process “genetic modification.”  The Monsanto scientists had figured out a way to tinker with the genetic make-up of corn by piggy-backing their modified genes with a rare micro-organism known as e coli.

The upside to their innovation would greatly increase corn production which in turn might relieve world hunger.  A noble pursuit.  This was the goal of the scientists who developed the process.  But being scientists they also knew that there could be long term effects of this new corn (called Genetically Modified or GM corn). And that these could potentially be negative, after all this was a brand new science and no one really knew what might happen.

The powers-that-be at Monsanto saw a benefit from genetically modifying seeds, profit.  Wild, galactically high, previously unthought of profit margins.  Profit would not be measured in tens of thousands of dollars but tens of thousands of percentage increase.

Think about that for a second.  For every dollar you spend, you make $10,000.  You hand me a C Note and I deposit a cool million into your account.  Even Green Peace would club a baby seal for that kind of money.

After some calculations in the Monsanto labs it was becoming obvious that the long rage effects of GM seeds would far out weight its benefits.  It was clear more research was needed.

After some calculations in the Monsanto boardroom it is was becoming obvious that if they didn’t move fast someone else might beat them to market.  Like in music, you cannot copyright the song writing process but you can copyright the result of that process, the song itself.

That was Monsanto’s plan.  Since other AgriBusiness firms and state funded universities were undoubtedly working on a similar process it was too late to trademark the process.  So they decided to trademark the product of that process, the seed itself.

This was Monsanto’s first roadblock.  The US law forbids trademarking of any living thing, which a seed most certainly is.  To circumvent the law Monsanto would rely on a time honored tradition, bribing the Supreme Court.

A few million here and there and the Supreme Court declared that a seed was not a living thing despite the volume of biological evidence to the contrary.  Monsanto had its patent.  The next step was flooding the market with their Frakencorn.

Washington D.C.
It was becoming apparent to President Carter that if he wanted to achieve his dream of national health care that he was going to have to dance with the Devil.  So Carter began practicing his two-step.

Some chemical company was looking to put this new seed on the market.  Being both a farmer and a God fearing man, Carter knew that man cannot improve on God’s work.  His own scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had looked at the seed and the process and estimated a trial and research period of 20 years to gauge the effects of this new corn on the human body and the ecology as a whole.

Monsanto balked at the 20 year number.  That’s when the backroom doors were bolted shut and began filling with smoke.  After some prompting from the White House the scientists agreed that they could have a “good idea” of GM corn’s effects with just 10 years of study.  Monsanto presented President Carter with the following scenario:

If our corn is harmless, as we suspect, then you will be responsible for curing world hunger.  If it turns out that our corn is somehow harmful to humans then by the time anyone figures it out the damage done would likely be to the point of crisis giving some future President the leverage to pass a national health care system.  Either way the people benefit, a classic win-win situation.

When the doors opened and the smoke cleared Monsanto had permission from the FDA to put their new seed on the market not in 20 years or even 10 years but immediately.  So without out any testing whatsoever factory farmers began planting GM corn that would be used to make High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), animal feed, hydrogenated corn oil, corn chips, corn starch and even corn on the cob.  Zero to 60 in two seconds flat.

Next time, The Corn Supremacy.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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