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.

Day Nine – Teaching Importance of Native Crops through Brighter Planet Grant Proposal

A special thank you to Tim Reedy, State Farm Insurance, of Spooner, WI, for voting for our cause.  To the countless anonymous voters, we are grateful that you are supporting our grant proposal.  

Happy Tonics collaborates with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College to teach that we need to grow local and native crops to support biodiversity of plants and pollinators during climate change.  Please Sign up and VOTE for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Gardens Shell Lake grant proposal at Brighter Planet at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100  Your votes may help decide if we are able to secure funding for the Morph Your Mind Environmental Education Program that reaches far and wide to bring Indigenous wisdom of sustainability to the public.  

Beautiful corn silks that add flavoring and nutrients to soup.

The Lac Courte Oreilles OJibwe Community College (LCOOCC) Sustainable Living Institute in partnership with the LCO Green Team, Happy Tonics Butterfly Sanctuary, and LCOOCC Library are bringing an Environmental Film Festival to LCO! 

 February 18th Event in the Auditorium includes: 

 Luncheon: Prepared by LCO Elders Association, Student Center $5 – serving starts at 11:30 a.m.
Noon:  Speaker:  Mary Ellen Ryall, Happy Tonics Butterfly Sanctuary Executive Director.
Topic: Role of biodiversity of native corn and reasons why native crops best survive climate change.
12:15pm Film:  “King Corn”
1:45pm Community Discussion:  Advocacy to Action! 

Native dent, flour, flint, popcorn and sweet corn

 Almost everything Americans eat contains corn: high fructose corn syrup, corn-fed meat, and corn-based processed foods are the staples of the modern diet.  Ready for an adventure and alarmed by signs of their generation’s bulging waistlines, college friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis know where to go investigate.

Eighty years ago, Ian and Curt’s great-grandfathers lived just a few miles apart, in the same rural county in northern Iowa.  Now their great-grandsons are returning with a mission:  they will plant an acre of corn, follow their harvest into the world, and attempt to understand what they—and all of us—are really made of.  Visit the movie link to learn more at http://www.kingcorn.net/ 

Good night dear voters where ever you are.