King Corn

When a Healthy Diet Isn’t Healthy

According to the market research firm Marketdata Enterpises Inc., Americans spend $55 billion a year on weight loss. Be it in the form of diet books, exercise equipment, health club memberships, pre-packaged meal plans or the ever elusive “magic pill” millions of Americans are trying anything to live a healthy lifestyle. And most are missing the mark, even those who appear perfectly healthy.

Why you may ask? The answer is both simple and complex. The quick and easy answer is greed. The corporations that produce those over-the-counter appetite suppressants and metabolism enhancers like hoodia, benzoyl peroxide and green tea extract prey on the same characteristic that causes most instances of obesity to begin with, sloth.

They know there is great profit to be made in selling the “magic pill” to those Americans who are convinced they can expel that spare tire without having to give up their precious drive-thru combos and channel surfing marathons. They also know (despite what they claim) that their products do not work; they’ve read the Mayo Clinic’s comprehensive study just like I have.

Those consumers are a lost cause but there are millions more out there that have been proactive by exercising, counting calories and reducing saturated fats. Their resting heart rate is under 70, their triglycerides are within acceptable parameters and their LDL’s are under 150. Yet they can’t seem to get rid of that fat roll. What gives?

This is the complex part. To write a blog post that explains all of the things wrong with our modern food system would actually constitute a book. Therefore I have collected some video information that may help you learn the truth that our government has conspired to keep from us all in the name of the simple answer, greed.  Both Bushes, Clinton and yes, even Obama have appointed Monsanto cronies to government posts that make policy for food safety.  The track record for all is heinous.

One of the lies is that skinny equals healthy.  What good are those six pack abs if your body is riddled with cancer or your circulatory system is invaded by aplastic anemia?  Oh yeah, so you can live longer and spend more of your life savings on government-subsidized pharmaceuticals that don’t cure anything.

The first is the movie The Future of Food.  “The Future Of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.” If you are not infuriated by the revelations in the movie then you are already dead.  The Future of Food is free to watch on Hulu or right here:

The next film ties in well with The Future of Food and it’s revelations about Monsanto and their holocaustic (New word!) genetically modified corn. It is called King Corn – You are what you eat. And according to the film no matter what you are eating, you are eating corn. It’s not yet available to view on Hulu but you can buy it from amazon by clicking HERE. Here’s the trailer:

The final film is Food Inc. This movie has created quite an uproar since its release this past summer. It has the government and their masters very nervous. It, too, is not yet available to view on Hulu but you can also buy it from amazon by clicking HERE. Here’s the trailer:

Attack of the Killer Corn!

I think we have all seen this ad:

The gist of this $25 million PR campaign by the Corn Refiners Association is that since the public doesn’t know the specific dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) then there must not be any.  The commercial even goes so far as to call HFCS natural.  Syrup is a processed food therefore by definition can not be natural.

The ad also states that it is no worse than sugar.  No worse than sugar?  First off sugar is pretty bad.  Secondly it is far worse than sugar.

The amount of research that proves HFCS is harmful to humans can be measured in volumes. The data reveals that this unnatural, processed food-product causes and/or contributes to several serious diseases.  Let’s examine some of the evidence.

From knowthelies.com:

In a recent chemical analysis of eleven carbonated soft drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), researchers from Rutgers University found very high levels of reactive carbonyls.

Reactive carbonyls, which have been linked to tissue damage and complications of diabetes, are elevated in the blood of people with diabetes. A single can of soda, however, has five times that concentration of reactive carbonyls. Old-fashioned table sugar, on the other hand, has no reactive carbonyls.

From Health Mad:

Since HFCS’s widespread introduction in the 1980’s North American obesity rates have skyrocketed. Obesity has been linked to many heath issues including heart disease and many forms of cancer. When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.

Nancy Appleton, PhD, clinical nutritionist & author of Lick the Sugar Habit:

Consumption of fructose causes a significant increase in the concentration of uric acid; after ingestion of glucose, no significant change occurs. An increase in uric acid can be an indicator of heart disease. Furthermore, fructose ingestion in humans results in increases in blood lactic acid, especially in patients with preexisting acidotic conditions such as diabetes, postoperative stress or uremia. Extreme elevations cause metabolic acidosis and can result in death.

From Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy:

Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply

The Corn Refiners Association bills itself as a national trade association representing the corn milling industry but being based in Washington DC (where the are no mills) it is clear that what they are is a lobbyist group.  They do not represent farmers, millers or even unions as their name suggests.  They represent large agri-business corporations.  According to their own web site they lobby on behalf of:

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) – ADM has cost the American economy billions of dollars since 1980 and has indirectly cost Americans tens of billions of dollars in higher prices and higher taxes over that same period. At least 43 percent of ADM’s annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM’s corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30. ADM is a partner of Monsanto.

Cargill, Incorporated – Cargill has recalled more than 20 million pounds of beef and poultry products tainted with E. coli and Listeria bacteria, respectively since 2000. This recalled meat has been linked to foodborne illness outbreaks, miscarriages, and several deaths. Cargill is a partner of Monsanto.

The list goes on – Corn Products International, Penford Products Co., and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc.  All huge agri-businesses with ties to Monsanto.  Kind of blows that wholesome farmland image the Corn Refiners Association tries to portray.

Now take a look at this HFCS parody ad from Aaron Woolf, Curt Ellis, and Ian Cheney, creators of the documentary film KING CORN, then visit www.kingcorn.net

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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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