“King Corn”: A Must-See Movie

king kornIf you rent just one movie to watch at home this year, make sure it’s “King Corn”. Better yet, buy yourself a copy, so you can watch it every so often and remind yourself of the messes that have been created in our farming practices, our system of raising animals for meat, our own health and the health of the environment — all because of growing outrageous amounts of corn.

“King Corn” documents the experience of two idealistic college graduates who decide to grow an acre of corn in Iowa. Viewers follow them through the whole process — government subsidies, genetically engineered seed, and pesticides that kill everything but the genetically engineered corn. Viewers then learn how the surplus of corn seeps into our foods in many ways, and what all that corn does to us, to animals, to the environment, and to small farmers who can’t compete with big industrialized food corporations.

The movie may start slowly for some, but the information comes together at the end. After watching the movie, people have a much clearer understanding about why the United States is the fattest nation on Earth and why obesity and diabetes started to become widespread problems beginning in the 1970s when there was a change in agricultural policy. Even if you think you don’t eat much corn, if you live in the United States or any Western nation, watch it anyway. If you are visiting this site and interested in against-the-grain information, you’re going to like “King Corn.” It is a must-see film that gives you much food for thought.

But don’t take just my word for it. I have recommended the movie to many of my clients and Going Against the Grain Group members. My clients who have watched “King Corn” have been so influenced by it, they want to spread the word and tell others about it. Below is what four of my clients said about the movie.


Kimberly, 52, who started gaining weight after going on a gluten-free diet and eating a lot of corn products:

Of course I was avoiding gluten. But I wasn’t avoiding corn. Let’s face it: The gluten-free diet is hard to follow and you end up substituting corn in place of gluten. But that causes countless problems.

I had no idea about the truth about America’s modern food system. I was shocked. We’re being poisoned by these big food corporations that use corn as a cheap base ingredient. I don’t think most Americans know what they’re putting in their bodies. “King Corn” really opened my eyes. I’m glad you recommended it, Melissa. It was really, really good.

The movie had a powerful impact on me, and it had the same impact on my husband. I wasn’t depressed about what I learned. I felt more educated and empowered after watching the movie. I was so motivated by it, in fact, I wanted to tell others –- my teenage daughter, her friends, people at work. Some people would say, “Oh, I wouldn’t want to know the truth about the American food system.” But I think the exact opposite. That’s exactly why you should watch this movie — so you don’t become fat and sick like so many of us who eat American foods and don’t know why we’re gaining so much weight.


Heather, 38, who had allergic symptoms (such as a burning feeling in the throat) from a corn sensitivity and didn’t know she had corn sensitivity:

My family and I watched “King Corn” last night. Oh my goodness, that was astonishing! We are made of corn. EEEEEWWWWWWW!!!!!!

It was very upsetting to see all of the mountains and mountains of inedible grain, while people are starving. And it was also very upsetting to see that some people actually believe that cheap food is better for us than good quality, healthy food. When we started having to eat cheap food and could no longer easily buy grass-fed, locally raised chicken and beef, we all gained weight.

We are all getting screwed by our government – all of us, from consumers to growers, and the farmers who go under. And the growers even know the corn is crap. But that’s how they make a buck.

The movie taught me all this and more. It was very eye opening, and very upsetting. My son asked if we were going to watch it again, and I said yes. He said good because there was so much information presented. I thought it was extremely well done.


David, 27, who had reactive hypoglycemia, an increase and then sudden drop in blood sugar levels after eating starchy or sweet foods:

One of the ingredients on my “must avoid” list to overcome reactive hypoglycemia was high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Getting HFCS out of my diet was incredibly challenging: It is in almost every dip, sauce, or condiment you can buy these days. I literally could not find a BBQ sauce that was made without corn syrup.

The documentary “King Corn” sheds light on the prevalence of HFCS and other corn products in the foods of the modern American diet. You see why HFCS is everywhere: it’s dirt cheap (meaning more profit for the foodmakers), it is easy to use and has a long shelf-life, and it’s also addictive. In fact HFCS and other corn products are so prevalent in the American food supply that significant amounts of carbon from corn can be detected in the hair of most Americans today. You literally are what you eat, and Americans are corn.

The information in “King Corn” is one of several factors that prompted me to begin buying grass-fed beef from a local meat company. I am slowly working my way through the 20+ pounds I bought and it’s really, really good stuff (especially the ground beef which has a texture and taste very different from grain-fed ground beef).

“King Corn” was an excellent movie. It makes you understand the American food and health problem a lot better and makes you want to go the extra mile for your health. I highly recommend it.


Shirley, 62, who has family roots in Iowa:

I thought “King Corn” was done in good taste. I am really glad I watched the movie.

I couldn’t understand before why Iowa farmers do what they do and why the small farmer can’t make it today. Now I understand everything a lot better.

I wasn’t aware of how pervasive corn was in our food supply, but I sure am now after watching “King Corn.” We have created an unhealthy modern food system that we’re spreading to the world. This movie definitely has influenced my shopping and eating habits for the better.

My advice to others out there: Do yourself and your health a favor and watch “King Corn”!

© Copyright 2008 Melissa Diane Smith

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