Essay On The Bad Influences of Corn
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The corn system in America is highly unstable and has several negative influences on health and the economy. These are the main reasons why the idea of growing corn in America should be revised or replaced with a more productive investment. Corn produces some beneficial products such as corn flour which is used as a food, cornmeal, grits, sweet corn, and hominy. However, it has negative effects in public health and the economy of America. It is mostly used as animal feed and its negative health effects on animals are transferred to humans when they take animal products.In addition, it affects the economy of the United States negatively. Corn makes use of land which is an important factor for production. Since it economic contribution is very low this resource ends up being wasted unlike a situation where the same would be used for industrial or to produce other products that would yield better results. The government directs heavy subsidies to corn farming whereas it has so many health-related and uneconomical issues. Corn has fattening effects on cattle, hogs, and chicken. These effects are transferred to humans and one of the biggest health concerns caused by corn is obesity. Although corn is food that can provide nourishment, it is also a vice that affects public health and the economy of the United States.
It is not logic to discard corn as a completely useless crop since its products are used in the everyday lives of Americans. The crop has several utilities but the systems that control it growth are weak and ineffective. Corn receives a high preferential treatment than the essential food crops. This means that majority of the food crops are imported from other countries while American land is used to grow corn. Such expenditure is unnecessary and should be avoided by paying more attention to local production of food crops. The major objective of agriculture in any country is food security. Therefore, a country that thrives in agriculture must be able to feed its people. The most important factor used to gauge the effectiveness of the agricultural system in a conscious republic is based on its capability to feed its population. Whereas corn is United States’ most productive crop, the delivery of food in the country is low. Corn is mainly used as animal feed and for bio-fuels which means that there is a deficiency in healthy agricultural food in the country. This is because 36 percent of it is used to feed animals such as pigs, chicken, and cattle. A good percentage is exported and merely a small fraction is used to feed the American population. The small fraction that feeds humans is high in fructose corn syrup, which poses health issues. Since almost all animals are fed on corn, people also get exposed to health complications when they take animal products.
People consume a lot of calories and protein-deficient diet when they eat products from animals fed on corn. The efficiency of changing grain to healthy dairy calories in animals feeding on corn ranges between 4 to 40 percent, depending on the production system in place. This implies that the corn crop rarely helps in the healthy feeding of the American people. In the state of Iowa, cornfield produces tons of corn on each acre annually. This is enough to sustain hundreds of thousands of people as food. However, the contemporary allocation of corn to animals and the production of ethanol leave people with a deficiency of food (Spittler, 112). This means that corn is only able to sustain up to five people per acre. This is lower compared to food delivery from corn in other corn producing countries such as Egypt, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
The production of corn utilizes a large amount of resources which could be used in other economic activities and crops. The corn system in many countries across the globe fails to deliver as much food as it should optimally. That in the United States is no different as it exhausts the natural resources with no reliable cost-benefit relationship. Nearly 96 million acres of land in the United States are used for corn production. This is roughly the size of California State. It is estimated that over 5.7 cubic miles of the total American fresh water is consumed by the U.S. corn system for irrigation annually. Its consumption of fertilizers is also another problem with the corn system since it is expensive to purchase millions of tons of nitrogen manure (Wagner, 54). With this extensive use of land for a crop which doesn’t contribute much to the economy the united state is losing a valuable resource that could be put into other activities that are more productive.
The corn system is highly vulnerable to economic shocks. Therefore, the monolithic nature of America’s corn production poses systemic risks to the nation’s agriculture. America would benefit more through diversification of its agricultural sector that is the inclusion of major food crops and other cash crops. This will reduce the rate at which America imports food crops. Most massive monocultures globally have failed due to price increases, which in turn cause an economic downturn. This is the same potential threat that is presented to the American economy and citizens will be affected since it is the taxpayers who foot the bill when economic downturns occur. Therefore, it is necessary for the United States to invest in agricultural systems that are diversified, with the aim of helping the country shift from the present corn monoculture to a landscape full of a variety of pasture, crops and prairies.
To sum up, the Corn System burdens the American population negatively through the health complications it poses and the economic burden it presents to the taxpayers. This is because it receives huge amounts of U.S. government subsidies every year, including crop insurance and direct payments. This should be addressed by rethinking the crop subsidy programs and focusing the tax dollars to those investment opportunities that yield the greatest public good (Spittler, 112). Corn receives government subsidies that are too heavy that a better use of it has to be found, even those that do not involve eating it. Since research has shown that corn is not safe for human health, it should, instead, be used to produce mass volumes of ethanol that can be used to fuel vehicles. Ethanol has always been regarded as an environment friendly fuel. Corn has to be utilized appropriately to ensure that the health of Americans and their animals does not deteriorate further. By introducing the production of other food crops America will reduce the rate of food importation which consumes a huge amount of its revenue. The amount saved by growing food locally can then be redirected to other uses such as development programs.
Spittler, Justin. “The Economic Impact of Agricultural Subsidies in the United States.”The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies. (2011): 5-8. web.
Wagner, Erica. “Feed a Cow Corn, Not Grass, and It Will Fatten Up in a Trice. What’s Not to Like? Plenty’; Eating out.” The Times (London, England), (2009): 82-163.