a social experiment

I watched “King Corn” tonight. In the same vein as “Food Inc.”, I realized that too much of what I eat and drink is just crap. So Iā€™m thinking of doing a social experiment to see if it can be done. Well, I know it CAN be done, but how easily is it done, is the better question, to not consume high fructose corn syrup without going sugar-free (and, in a lesser sense, corn-based food)?

This would also require to me read through the farm bill and bone up on my knowledge in that department. The government subsidizes farms according to how much corn they produce, which in turn produces high amounts of corn on the cheap. Now more than any time in history we have cheap food.

Now, normally I wouldn’t have a problem with cheap food, but since the poverty level is calculated based on the cost of food for a family of four, I see where this has high social impacts. And really? Government subsidies just ruin the idea of a free market.

Not to mention the health impact consuming HFCS has on society. Cheap doesn’t necessarily always mean good. Some guy on “king corn” said the government is producing fast food, not good food.

So, Iā€™m proposing an experiment to see how difficult it is to not consume HFCS while not leading a sugar-free life (this will coincide nicely with my attempt to frequent the farmers’ market more often and my awesome garden Iā€™m growing this summer).

A brief once-over in my pantry and fridge produces ice cream, a 2-liter of Pepsi (*sigh* my weekend indulgence gone unless I find imported Mexican drinkage) and *GASP* bottles of actual corn syrup used for Christmas cookie making.

A little more research is needed, but I think this will result in more homemade (using sugar) goodies instead of store-bought, no sugared pop unless I find a Pepsi throwback (MMMM which I prefer anyway), and making sure to read all the ingredients when I go grocery shopping (ugh). And Iā€™m not going to make Nate do it unless he wants to.

Another large part of the food industry reliant on corn is the beef industry. Grain-fed beef and chicken is the stuff you find in the store because it fattens animals up faster to get to your plate faster. Since I bought my grass-fed quarter cow last year and am hoping to do that again this year, I will mainly focus on chicken.

Watching these documentaries (or hippie-liberal propaganda if that’s what you want to call them) usually just makes me mad. I told Nate tonight that I should just stop watching stuff like this. Unusually insightful, he said: “No. More people need to watch stuff like this. They need to realize how screwed up the government is.”

So, what do you think? What should my goals be? How long should this go on? What do you want to see/read/watch (I am willing to throw stuff on Youtube)?