Environment: Michael Pollan on the 'The Cornification of America'
Jan. 25, 4 p.m., 575 McCone Hall
"A Chicken McNugget is corn upon corn upon corn, beginning with corn-fed chicken all the way through the obscure food additives and the corn starch that holds it together," says science writer and food detective Michael Pollan. In fact, all of McDonald's offerings are corn. "The main ingredient in the soda is corn—high-fructose corn syrup. Go down the list. Even the dressing on the new salads at McDonald’s is full of corn."Both spiritualmonkey and I found The Botany of Desire fascinating. The chapter on apples captivated me thoroughly, and once we get ourselves into a living situation where we can plant trees, I'm hoping to try growing some from seed myself. Who knows? Maybe 30 years from now you'll go to the farmers' market and one of the apple varieties they'll be selling is "Lexica's Oaktown Pippin".
In this seminar for the Geography department, Pollan will discuss how U.S. subsidies of corn have contributed to its use in everything from sodas to salmon feed to fast-food packaging to construction materials, and what the hidden cost of those subsidies — and uses — are. Pollan is the author of "The Botany of Desire." His investigative look at America's food chain and its ramifications on our environment and health will be coming out this summer.