I grow corn to make corn meal. Corn meal can be used for all kinds of things, like tortillas, corn bread, stuffing, and so on. I mostly use it to make a hot breakfast cereal. It is not unlike cream of wheat. It is made of 1/3 corn meal, 1/3 wheat meal, and 1/3 rice meal. The rice I purchase at Sam's club. The wheat I buy in 25# sacks from a local store that doesn't charge me shipping. Organic and non-GMO of course. It's pretty cheap.
The corn I grow myself. It's a variety called Reid's Yellow Dent corn. This variety was famous more than a hundred years ago. Here's a quote from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (a very nice place to buy seed by the way.)
" [Dates back to the 1840's, when it originated as a cross between 'Gordon Hopkins', a late, light red variety, and an early yellow flint variety.] The cross was accidental: Robert Reid had a poor stand of 'Gordon Hopkins' one year and replanted the missing hills with the early yellow flint corn. He grew the hybrid until it stab�lized. 'Reid's Yellow Dent' is one of the most productive, hardy corns ever developed, and was a prize winner at the 1893 World's Fair and progenitor of a number of yellow dent lines. This old-timer is well known in the Mid-Atlantic region, where it is revered for its adaptability and dependability in southern heat and soils. Stalks to 7' with 9 in. double ears well filled with 16 rows of deep, close-set, moderately flat seed. Average analysis is 9.9% protein and 0.31% lysine."
For some reason, me and corn get along real good. This variety is reported to have stalks up to seven feet tall and well filled 9" ears. In my garden, the stalks grow in excess of 12' and the ears routinely exceed 10", a few reaching a full foot long. Here's me grinning like an idiot holding one of mine, and one of my corn farmer/neighbor's GMO Frankencorn:
Here's another picture of several of my ears, and two of his typical ears of corn. There's a beer bottle in there for scale:
I don't use herbicides, pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, or any of that other gook. He does. I win.
Of course, we're sort of comparing apples to oranges here. His might be designed to maximize the yield of high fructose corn syrup per acre, and so long as it does that, his probably beats mine. His can be sprayed with Roundup weed killer, which would kill mine. This minimized his fuel and labor costs, and reduces soil compaction since the big tractors don't have drive over the same ground multiple time manually cultivating the weeds out. The size of the ears doesn't necessarily indicate the yield per acre. Maybe he can cram more plants in per acre than I can. Maybe his needs less nitrogen per pound of corn produced. I have the luxury of piling on the rich compost. He doesn't.
His probably isn't even designed to be eaten by humans directly. It's designed to be processed into something else first.
Despite all the backpedaling and fine print and disclaimers, I would still like to claim victory for my corn. Genetically modified food is not a good thing. I say this as a trained scientist who did trans species recombinant DNA in lab exercises. I know what it is capable of.
There are now many verified, repeatable examples where, given the choice, cows pigs and other animals won't eat the GMO Frankencorn if they have "real" corn as an option. What do they know that we don't?
Cows prefer real vs GMO
There are now disturbing independent studies that link the use of GMO corn and soy with organ failure in mammals:
Monsanto has such a huge influence on agriculture in the US, they have almost literally crammed this frankencorn stuff down our throats. If you had corn chips this week, you probably ate some corn that had a little bacterial DNA slipped in there for extra measure. Some of the "new" corn has genetic material from a fish. There are indications that the resultant corn makes novel proteins that may trigger allergy problems in the end user, you.
Monsanto did tests that prove this is all safe. The FDA accepted those tests without further investigation. The testing went on for a whole 90 days. If there were any differences in outcomes based on the gender of the lab animals, that was discounted or thrown out. So, if a statistically significant number of female rats got kidney failure, or liver failure, but the boys didn't, we can just ignore that. Really, I'm not making this up. And really, 90 whole days?!? What about long term problems in humans? How did we test for that? Oh yeah, we didn't.
The relationship between the FDA and Monsanto would charitably be described as "close". Incestuous might be a more accurate description.
People, you have to take your food chain back. Don't you be eatin' that stuff. That ain't natural.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
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