Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Flash of Genius

BLOG WARNINGS: 1) I write side thoughts in parentheses...A LOT.
2) I will try from now on to refrain from using "a lot". High school English teacher and all around bad ass, Jessica Good, used to say "a lot is place you park your car, not a unit of measure", which has since then left me trying to figure out what the heck you say instead.
3) To Mrs. Good, I'm sorry for all the grammatical errors. I've already realized that I really don't remember if movies get italicized or put in quotes. So please overlook this, and other English errors in this blog. I really did learn alot, scratch that, a ton?, ummm, multitudes of important English facts? in the 3 years I had you as a teacher. Oh yes, I'm not very liberal with my spaces around my commas.
4) Everytime I write Food, Inc you must drink.

Okay, so maybe the title, "Flash of Genius" is a little bit of an exaggeration (considering I had to look up "genius" just to make sure I was spelling it correctly, and yes, I had it right), but I just saw Food, Inc and Bam! (Emeril style) got hit with the flash within the first 3o minutes of the movie.

Before I continue, a little background on me. My name is Jessica...let's get more personal, Jess. I'm 25. I'm a graduate of the University of Virginia, and I still live in Charlottesville, Virginia (they don't call it "The Hook" for nothing, ya know?). I'm a vegetarian (3 years strong). I'm the co-founder of Locallectual (www.locallectual.com ...had to get a plug in here somewhere), a web directory to find locally and domestically made products, producers, and foods in your area, restaurants using local ingredients in your area, and local retailers selling all this good stuff. So obviously, I'm into movies like Food, Inc because I care about where my food comes from (reason #1 for being a vegetarian) and I'm into supporting local food systems and not big monsters like Conagra and its cohorts.

So to continue, obviously I would go to Food, Inc and obviously, I'd be very moved. But I wasn't quite expecting to be moved like this. Yes, to be perfectly honest, I expected to walk out giving myself a little pat on the back for conceiving (had to look that word up...damn you, "i" before "e" except after "c") Locallectual, and I did (thanks for the little "eat local foods, shop your local farmers market" shout out at the end, Food, Inc producers). But I wasn't expecting to want to jump out of my seat and leave within the first 30 minutes because I wanted to get my blog on and start the next chapter in my life.

I know, you want to know what chapter don't you. Get ready. I'm going corn free for a year. Maybe this isn't that revolutionary. Maybe there were people doing this before "Food, Inc". Maybe other people out there saw Food, Inc before me and are already doing this. So maybe I'm not the trend setter I think I am, but at this point in time, I am, damnit.
When I started reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, like, 6 months ago (I know, Mrs.Good, I still say "like" ALOT ... BAM!), and Mr.Pollan starting talking about how corn is in virtually everything the average American eats, I got scared. Real scared. Corn is a monster! Or rather, the people in charge of what American farmers grow and what basically, the world eats, are monsters! I didn't want to be told (or not) what to eat, and not that I think corn is all that terrible for you (at least not yet anyways), but I certainly don't want it snuck into my every bite. But my business partner Karen, who is my nutritional advisor, told me not to worry about corn, its not bad. So I ignored it. But the movie brought up the monsterous corn AGAIN. It revived my fears of that those little yellow kernels. So I've decided to say, in the immortal words of Empire Records to "Damn the man!" and try to eat corn free for a year.

Now, to be honest, I think this task will be a smidge easier for me than for the average American. Yes, I consider myself to be "above average". First off, I'm a vegetarian, so I'm not eating meat that has all that corn feed stuffed in it. So I'm halfway there, right? Famous. Last. Words. As Food, Inc continued with its segment on corn, and the movie made its point that it was seriously, in, like, everything, I kinda had an "oh shit" moment. Yes, as you can see, I'm continuing on with this, what you might consider, craziness, even after I started to think about all the food that has corn in it, via corn syrup. Yes, corn syrup, I forgot about you! So I will I'm sure, DAILY, be adding new foods that are tainted with this sweetner to my sad list of "Don't Eats". And you can start taking bets on how long my little experiment will last.

So yes, I'm crazy, because corn syrup has made corn one of the, if not THE, biggest sweetener in the American diet. But it's worth a try, and will definitely be providing some humorous posts for friends and other readers out there. And probably one peeved high school English teacher.


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