Essay on The Global Food System and Corn

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GEO 102 Assignment #3 | The Global Food System and Corn | Diana Xia Zeng | Teacher: Blake Mayberry11/11/2011 |

The Global Food System and Corn Agriculture is a major industry in the United States, which is a net exporter of food. Corn, turkeys, tomatoes, potatoes, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are the main holdovers from the agricultural endowment of the Americas. [‎1] The availability of inexpensive land with favorable soil and climate contributed to the growth of cotton during the nineteenth century; and strong legal and political institutions provided enslaved labor force and led to an unprecedented cotton boom. As a result, the United States produced more cotton than all other countries combined in the 1830s, and the value of cotton exports exceeded the value of all other American exports put together. Before the Civil War, most of the really rich men in America were southerners, and most of those were cotton planters. The cotton economy centered on slave labor thrived until the Civil War. Regularly when the slaves were liberated and cotton demand decayed, the emphasis on cotton and slavery constrained industrialization, urbanization and educational progress. [2, 3] Today, corn is the most valuable crop grown in the United States. It is the major source of biological compound energy for livestock and poultry in the United States, accounting for more than 90 percent of total production. About two-thirds of the corn grown in the United States goes into livestock feed. Americans eat about 45 pounds of corn per person per year. [5]Corn made for livestock and meat products that produce from animals raised on corn. Such as pigs, they consume almost half the corn crop. Also, Corn is used to manufacture several of very useful daily products. Corn refining separates the kernel into its parts. The basic products of refining are starch, sugar, syrup, and oil. Corn starch is used to condense puddings, gravies, and sauces. Starch is also used to produce cosmetics, explosives, electric batteries, and drugs. Ethyl alcohol, made from corn sugar or syrup, is essential ingredient in smokeless powder, shatterproof glass, synthetic rubber, brake fluids, and plastics. Another common use of corn is to make the "10% alcohol (ethanol)" gasoline that you buy at the gas station. [4, 5]
Table 1 No. | Food Name | Location | Contain corn (byproducts) | 1 | Boneless Pork Chops | USA | Y | 2 | SHITAKI Mushroom | Japan | N | 3 | Baby Carrots | USA | N | 4 | Jasmine Rice | Thailand | N | 5 | Pork and Napa Cabbage Dumplings | USA | Y | 6 | KIMLAN Soy Sauce | Taiwan | N | 7 | GREAT VALUE Canola Oil | USA | N | 8 | PEARL RIVER BRIDGE Superior Dark Soy Sauce | CHINA | N | 9 | GREAT VALUE Pure Cane Sugar | USA | N | 10 | BAIWEITANG Starch | CHINA | Y | 11 | Robert Vitamin D Milk | USA | N | 12 | QUAKER Chewy Oatmeal Raisin | USA | N | 13 | QUAKER INSTANT OATMEAL | USA | N | 14 | NESTLE Rich Milk Chocolate | USA | Y | 15 | Ozark Farmers Market: Large Grade A Eggs | USA | Y | 16 | GREAT VALUE Low-fat Vanilla Yogurt | USA | Y | 17 | Jet-Puffed Marshmallows | USA | Y |

Table 1 lists the food that I ate in my daily life. It is not difficult to find out what was in my food. First of all, I wrote it down the name of the food and spices I often eat and use. Since I usually eat homemade food, therefore, most of them are fresh food or spices. Just a few of them are instant snacks. Secondly, I found out the ingredients of these food and spices that I use for cooking the food. Thirdly, I searched the ingredients of every product on the internet and focused on the description and label about whether there is corn and corn byproduct or not. Throughout the research, I found out those foods mostly come from the United States and 7 of 17 products contain corn or corn byproducts. In addition, I did some analysis, including the cost of a bushel of corn and the cost of…