Environmental Film Festival “King Corn”


Yesterday Happy Tonics was a co-sponsor at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College’s Film Fest featuring “King Corn.”  Mary Ellen Ryall, Executive Director of the nonprofit spoke about Oneida Corn, a tribal corn, that originated in New York State near Syracuse and Utica.  The corn seed was gifted to the Oneida tribe to the west side of Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1992.

Oneida corn

Oneida tribal corn

In 2009 Oneida corn was grown out by Mike Brenna of Little Footprint Farm, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin.

Mike told me that the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin gave him some of the corn seed.  He cherished the seed and only gave us three ears.  I take one dried ear with me when I am lecturing. 

Corn silk is medicinal and good for urinary tract infection.  The dried silks can be added to soups and stews.  Ayner Larson (originally from Turkey) told me the silks can be used in tea. 

Phytochemicals:  Maysin, Carvacrol, Flavonoids and Polyphenols make up some of the medicinal properties of corn silk. 

Maysin helps protect the plant from bag bug larva such as European Corn Borer.  What is good for the plant may be good for our own intestinal health. 

Carvacrol may have antibacterial, anti fungal, antiviral and anti-cancer  properties when naturally distilled in liquid.  If corn silks are in a liquid base such as tea, soup and stew, this will allow the phytochemical to release its essence into the liquid.

Flavonioids have antioxidant properties.  Polyphenol also has antioxidant properties.  Rather, they may affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity or gene regulation.

Food sources are more than just a question of eating.  Are we conscious of what we eat?  For example, Oneida corn is a life substance to the Oneida people.  My ancestors came from Ireland and I am tied to the potato.  Being connected to our ancestral food has an effect on our DNR.  We are linked to our past through food.

King Corn points out that corn being grown today is often not for human consumption.  Corn is grown to feed cattle in the concentrated animal feed operations.  It is often grown as a byproduct called corn syrup.  It’s in mayonnaise, ketchup, boxed food and soft drinks.  Corn syrup is a processed product from a non food source. Diabetes is often caused by a diet of high corn syrup.  The closer to the natural food source, the healthier we can be. 

Happy Tonics display featured Tarahumara corn from a remote area of  Sierra Tarahumara, Chihuahua, Mexico.  Growing biodiversity of corn species can keep the landraces alive. There are more types of corn besides yellow sweet corn.  Tribal people understand the importance of growing dent, flour, flint, popcorn and sweet corn. 

Tarahumara serape corn

tarahumara serape corn

 Tarahumara serape corn tassels.  Just look at the beautiful red striked tassels.  This species is a  Flour/Flint Corn.  When dry, flints generally store better and have a great resistance to insect damage.  The kernals can be toasted and ground and popped.

There is more to the corn story.  Visit http://happytonics.org/mbr13b1.htm to read the Colonization of Maize by Mary Ellen Ryall.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

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