Sometimes after reading a book or an article I get a case of the Did you knows. You may know this disease by its key symptom, telling whomever is within hearing whatever fascinating factoid you have just gleaned from your reading. I recently caught this disease from The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I bombarded my wife with trivia last night after reading from the book.
The first quarter of the book discusses the importance of corn in America’s diet. It’s amazing what they can do with that plant. We are nearly 100% corn fed animals. Just about every processed food contains an ingredient derived from corn, and all of our meat comes from corn fed animals. Even when corn isn’t what those animals naturally eat. What I’ve learned has made me think seriously about shopping at a whole foods market. The most commonly used corn product is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which we manage to consume at an alarming rate. But even with the discovery of HFCS and it’s replacement of pure sugar in almost everything, Americans still increased their intake of cane sugar. If we are what we eat, Americans are a nice mix of sugar and fat. It’s easy to see from reading this book why obesity is such a problem in the United States.