In America, Corn is King

Jul 18, 2012

This is a strange time in the life of corn. The 2012 US corn crop is getting smaller by the hour because of the terrible heat and drought in the Midwest. It's difficult to know what that means, because from a certain perspective, this country produces way too much corn. 

There's also a mild uproar over so-called "Agent Orange" corn, a strain genetically modified to be immune to the active ingredient in Agent Orange, the controversial Vietnam era herbicide. The idea is to start plating a crop that could be protected from weeds by 2,4-D, which is associated with all kinds of health problems. (Mmmmm, good!) On our show today, you'll learn more about the odd linkage between humans and corn. For ancient MesoAmerican civilizations, it was a sacred substance that permeated all life. Today, it does permeate all life. Corn is in everything. Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.