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  1. #1
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Default Corn Fueled Food Industry

    The U.S. food industry is built on corn (thanks Mr. Butz!).
    What about for different countries in Europe? Are you corn-fed, too? Cows, chicken, hogs fed corn as a main diet staple? If not, is meat (or food in general) very expensive? Eaten widely/daily or infrequently and in small portions. Tell me how you eat.

    Edit:
    I put this here (perhaps mistakenly) because I was thinking of how much of this ties into big-business in the States and how food prices are quickly rising. I wonder why that's going on here because corn is so cheap and it got me to thinking about food and agriculture in other places in the world.

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    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    I think the issue in America is not essentially about rising food prices, it is generally inflation, which acts like a hidden tax, and that America is basically bankrupt. It is an economic, systemic problem where the poor and middle class suffer the most. It is not happening to the same extent in Europe but it seems to be on the way, I think America will go first and then it will be Europe.
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  3. #3
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    You forgot corn also has its uses in Ethanol. If a farmer were to choose whether to sell corn for food or to sell it for ethanol, a lot of them would choose ethanol because the farmer gets more money.

    That is probably the reason why food prices are rising. The ethanol business practically competing with the food business for corn (high fructose corn syrup) not to mention how many foods contain high fructose corn syrup. You are going to have a soda company competing with a hundred other companies for that corn syrup. You can literally walk into a grocery store and see a lot of items containing it.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Its probably corn fuelled too given that its a meat eating culture (talking about UK, ROI and EU here) I've seen more corn fields being planted and raised than potatoes in my own townlands and neighbouring ones, there's been changes too, it looks like there are trends in food production to try and wheen people of wheat and corn and substitute oats in their place, the breakfast cereals, snacks, ready meals etc. all are marked by that trend and I read something about the changes in the world price of oats relative to the others because of their use as feedstuff for livestock.

    There where debates about the price of water globally and its availability, with the global restructuring that's taking place water can travel halfway around the world to nations producing foodstuff for animals and people in the countries that the water came from in the first place, which seems crazy to me but its cheaper some how. There even differences arising from whether starchy food staples in the future will be rice based or potato based. Bigger cultural divide than you'd imagine at first.

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    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    It is cheap but at the back end, horribly expensive. There is actually too much corn. The yields are incredible but the energy that goes into producing them is over the top. The amount of fertilizer, processing...then the whole corn-for-animal-feed thing.

    Lark, that is interesting about oats. I totally overlooked that. It's pushed in this country as a 'healthy' grain, you know, a heart-healthy thing because of the association with it lowering cholesterol. It's lost its place on the pedestal recently because of the push for people to use statin drugs in place of dietary changes. But it is still huge in cereal bars, granola, cereals...it certainly has come a long way from Quaker Oats (no wonder the guy on the box is smiling).

    When you say meat-eating culture, do you mean beef? I remember being a kid and getting roast beef or steak was like a major big-deal because it was so very expensive. If it was a roast, it was eaten over two nights. Fish and shellfish was cheap enough to eat it almost every night.

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    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    The U.S. food industry is built on corn (thanks Mr. Butz!).
    What about for different countries in Europe? Are you corn-fed, too? Cows, chicken, hogs fed corn as a main diet staple? If not, is meat (or food in general) very expensive? Eaten widely/daily or infrequently and in small portions. Tell me how you eat
    Well here in New Zealand it’s almost impossible to get grain-fed red meat full stop. I don't know what pigs and chickens are fed here in general but I'm pretty sure it’s not likely to be corn.

    I didn't eat grain fed meat until I was 24, when travelled to Israel and found the taste to be strange and greasy. While I know why this farming method is used, I nonetheless find it rather bizarre that other countries don't have sheep and cows roaming around a paddock eating *gasp* grass, as nature intended them to. For one thing, it’s much healthier to eat grass-fed meat because the fat doesn't marble through it like corn-fed meat; whereas with grass-fed the vast majority of the fat can easily be cut off. Not to mention it’s more ethical and humane to the animals to be grass-fed. And honestly if people knew the taste difference...

    I'm not sure whether it would be considered expensive because it’s difficult to compare these things internationally due to variations in the cost of living. I guess I don't consider red meat to be overly expensive here. We don't exactly eat steak every night but do eat it regularly; same goes with lamb. Red meat is eaten 3-4 times a week maybe, depending on the household. Chicken is cheaper so it’s more of the everyday staple. I assume this isn't too different to America, with the exception of the inclusion of lamb in the diet. The more traditional NZ meal is the meat and 3 vege thing; the meat usually being a big slab of something or some sort of casserole/stew. Of course now people eat more Asian style meals, pasta etc so will have smaller portions of meat. My family is a mix of the two.

    I do acknowledge NZ is an anomaly because we have such a huge beef and lamb industry with plenty of open land for them to be farmed. It would be nice if the world had more the same but realistically, I don't think it could work without people majorly cutting back how much meat they consume (which the west probably all should)
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