135: It Started When Corn Became Cheap


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By Dr. Karl Goldkamp. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Today, we continue with our story about corn.

The industrialization of our food supply has resulted in an explosion of calorie-rich, nutrient-poor, and incredibly cheap processed foods. In this episode, we explain how that happened, and we also discuss the consequences. It is a great story that might change your life, so be sure to listen in.

The Aztec population

The Aztec population and the populations before them exploded because easily digestible calories became readily available to them.

Amino acids

When corn got mixed with other grains, people were getting all eight essential amino acids.

A forgotten process

Christopher Columbus felt that the Europeans were far more sophisticated and intellectually superior to the native American populations. He did not place any importance on the way that the corn was getting processed by the Native Americans. As a result, the process got forgotten in Europe because the Europeans thought it was too primitive.

A big problem

Changing the way that corn got processed created a big problem.

Nutrient deprived

In the US, the populations that were depending on corn as a staple became nutrient deprived. That introduced a level of sickness and nutrient deficiency, along with all the consequences of that, in those populations.

Bathing corn in an alkaline bath

When the process of bathing corn in an alkaline bath with lime and ash does not get followed, the nutrients are not so readily available.

Corn on the cob

Corn on the cob is not that nutritious when compared with the corn that used to get prepared by soaking it in an alkaline bath.

A family cow

In the 1700 and 1800s, people sometimes had a family cow behind their house or a small herd that just roamed around. Those cows did not get fed much else other than hay.

Synthetic fertilizers

Nitrogen is one of the three synthetic fertilizers, which are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Synthetic fertilizers allowed the farmers to grow their grain and corn crops far more quickly. That meant that American farmers could feed the world as well as their cows.

The focus towards a higher yield and scaling farming

The focus towards a higher yield and ever-increasing crop production began, and so did the feeding of inexpensive corn and grain to cows. In the 1950s and 1960s, it became all about scaling farming.

A new practice

As American corn production skyrocketed post World War 2, along with the demand for meat, farmers and ranchers turned to the new practice of fattening their cattle on corn because it was cheaper and more efficient than grass.

A new norm

Corn allowed cattle to get brought to market from as young as fifteen months. And a grain-based diet for dairy cows became the norm.

Grass is different, nutritionally

Grass is different nutritionally from today’s contaminated corn and soy, and that makes one wonder how cattle have adapted to that.

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Article: Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

216 episodes