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Commodity Chain: Corn The System

Prepared for ANTH 115: Emerging Global Culture Fall'13

Celeste Enriquez

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Commodity Chain: Corn The System

Ethanol Production
used for animal feed
Cheap alternative for livestock heading for slaughter

Cows cannot process corn well after 3 months

Medication for cattle is used to offset effects
Processed Foods
Corn is refined and extracted to create sweeteners and thickeners.

Dextrose is used in creating nasal spray

Citric Acid used for shampoo/body wash

Cellulose -->multi vitamins

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Americans are consuming more calories in the form of beverages with HFCS

Increase in obesity and type II diabetes

Obesity related medical costs 250 billion worldwide. most in US
Something Corny:
"Evolution of Corn," by Lowell Houser 1938
History of Corn
Corn was domesticated from
the wild grass Teosinte.
History of Corn Cont.
Corn originates from Mesoamerica.
The Green Revolution
Corn Ethanol
U.S. Corn imports to Mexico
GMO's are Genetically Modified Organisms whose DNA have been altered in an unnatural way.

GM's are geared towards protecting crops from pests and other factors
that may decrease the yield of the crop.

Carlos Bean
Celeste Enriquez
Jocelyn Langarica
San Pham
Torry Wix

Presented by:
Corn's Journey
A corn elevator storage unit with overflow
Processing Method
Dry Milling
Removal of germ by soaking

Grind into corn grits, meal and flour

Wet Milling
Grinding, centrifugal force, and sieving of corn

Creates corn starch(makes syrups), corn oil, and corn gluten (animal feed)

Corn gluten is what corn mainly becomes (40%) of it
Problems with Processing
Many nutrients is lost during processing
High fructose corn syrup contains no beneficial nutrients

Processing plants use massive amounts of coal used for energy
Processing plant polluting in Iowa
How America's Corn is Consumed
Import dependency and
increase awareness of the
decline in corn biodiversity
has brought small farmers,
activists, and indigenous
communities together to fight
GM seeds and dependency on
U.S. imports.
Cultural groups like Zapotec, Maya,
Mixtec, Aztec, have corn at the center
of their existence.
After the conquest corn spread to the
Old World and later throughout Europe.
From the farm the kernals are stripped from the cob

The town's corn is put in the corn elevator

Trucks/Trains bring corn to the processing facilities
What is Corn Ethanol?

Implications of ethanol:
Increasing price of corn

How do you make it!?

40 %
of Corn

Foods made with HFCS and corn
products are the cheapest option

Based on economics, to feed your family
on a low income, it makes financial sense
to buy corn infused food
Genetically Engineered
Food Labeling Laws

United States does not require labels on the view that GM food is not materially different then non-modified food.
United States
Europe requires all GM food to be labeled unless GM ingredients amount to 0.9% or less.
European Union
"Overall, genetic engineering does not get nearly the bang for the buck as conventional breeding..."
- Doug Gurian-Sherma
Genetically Modified Food: Then & Now
Back to
Food is not just a commodity that comes from cargo ships.
Exporting to China
Full transcript