Corn Tastes Better on the Honor System – Robin Wall Kimmerer
Corn production today uses more natural resources than any other crop. Around 90 million acres are planted in corn, and the last remaining remnants of native prairie and grassland are being plowed under for corn every year. Corn is a hungry crop and a thirsty one. Vast amounts of water are consumed, and a staggering amount of fertilizer. Corn not only consumes a great deal—it produces a huge amount of waste. Much of that fertilizer never even makes it into the plant, instead it is washed downstream, producing toxic algal blooms in waters everywhere along the way and ultimately creating the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. I don’t blame my farmer neighbor for industrial agriculture. Watching train cars of golden yellow kernels unload into ethanol factories creates a gnawing pain in my gut; it’s the pain of betrayal. Colonization is the process by which an invading people seeks to replace the original lifeways with their own, erasing the evidence of prior claims to place. Corn?
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