Jan 12, 2018 in Analysis

When a Crop Becomes King

The article "When a Crop Becomes King" covers the history of corn dating back to its discovery by Christopher Columbus and its further domestication. It stresses that corn is not only crucial to the US economy but also it has become a symbol of the American prosperity and land's fertility. Written in 2002, the article discusses President Bush's initiative on the so-called farm bill, which was aimed at giving certain privileges to farmers. The author of the article, Michael Pollan, is critical about the program as he believes that there is no needs to grow more corn, as even the current amount is not utilized. Yet, controversial as it might seem, according to the mentioned bill, taxpayers were to pay $4 billion per year to facilitate growing more corn.

Even though the author does not completely agree with the politics, he realizes that the whole US economy has become corn-bound. Corn is used everywhere from the typical diet of an average American to feeding cattle and even fish. In this perspective, subsidizing corn might be reasonable as author states because it is the cheapest crop that supports a whole number of industries. Nevertheless, there are other negative factors that prevent the reader from fascination. Thus, the author claims that in order to improve corn's taste, chemicals are vastly used, and even production of these chemical requires waste of natural resource like oil and gas. So, economical and health issues are obvious, yet it is impossible to restructure economy immediately, so the state has to invest into corn.

Personally, I believe that the author gives a reasonable and objective analysis of the situation on corn market, which has changed little for ten years. The article raises awareness about the impact that corn has on American economy and risks for health that it causes.

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