And in the Marx chronicles, I've made it to Chapter 9: The Rate of Surplus-Value. That's the one with all the equations and calculations. Please send help.

A few chapters ago CORN!* made an appearance: "Corn, for example, is a raw material for millers, starch-manufacturers, distillers and cattle-breeders." WTF? The practice of fattening cattle on corn was happening in the 19th century? Beef men, please inform.

* "Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig, the turkey and the lamb, the catfish and the tilapia and, increasingly, the salmon, a carnivore by nature that the fish farmers are reengineering to tolerate corn. The eggs are made of corn. The milk and cheese and yogurt, which once came from dairy cows that grazed on grass, now typically come from Holsteins that spend their working lives indoors tethered to machines, eating corn." -- Michael Pollan.


Blogger ma vie en bling said...

I thought or believed somehow that corn as human food is still seen as very unusual and somewhat debased in Europe, or was as late as 1989 when I visited as a teenager and was lovingly teased by a European who suggested I was among those people who actually ate corn. It was explained to me that corn was clearly meant for beasts or laundry one wishes to make stiffer not humans.

10 January, 2008  
Blogger Alli Warren said...

Totally. Corn's what those strange people in the Americas eat, etc. But I thought cows grazed on God-given natural grass until big bad monoculture took over? That's the sense Mr. Pollan gave me at least. I guess I'm a sucker.

10 January, 2008  

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