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See Great New Movie Called 'King Corn'

Dear Organic Consumer,

We're excited to announce the opening of a new film ­ King Corn, which
premiered on October 12th at Cinema Village in New York City. Please see
below for other cities the film will play in as well as much more
information on the film ­ or visit to see if any new places
have been added.

King Corn is an entertaining feature documentary about two friends that farm
an acre of corn in Iowa in an attempt to learn where corn goes once grown
and how it affects us. The movie is a serious look at our farm system but
is done with humor and in a way that's entertaining and engaging. If you
aren't near a theater that's showing the film, check their website for
information on purchasing a DVD.

And Sustainable Table will be back in the next month or two to give you an
update on the Eat Well Guided Tour of America (which was an amazing success)
and all that we're doing. So stay tuned for more!
And thanks for supporting local, sustainable food.

King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and
the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation.

In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the
east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from.
With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and
powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America's
most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when
they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find
raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm.

Theater Calendar
(Last updated September 24, 2007. More dates to come!)

New York - Cinema Village, opening October 12

Washington, DC - E Street Cinema, opening October 19

Boston - Coolidge Corner Theater, opening October 26

Los Angeles ­ Laemmle Music Hall, opening October 26

San Francisco - Red Vic Movie House, opening November 2

Berkeley - Shattuck Theater, opening November 2

Austin, Texas ­ Alamo Drafthouse Theater, November 2-8

Portland ­ Hollywood Theater, opening November 9

Pleasantville, New York ­ Jacob Burns Film Center, November 17 & 21

Columbia, Missouri - Ragtag Cinema, opening November, Date TBA

Film summary:
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 to 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.

Ian and Curt arrive in the Midwest enthusiastic about their new endeavor.
Iowa's newest farmers lease an acre of land from a skeptical landlord and
fill out a pile of paperwork to sign up for subsidies. The government will
pay them $28 to grow their acre of corn-the first of many steps that
reinforce the idea that more corn is what America needs.

Ian and Curt start the spring by injecting ammonia fertilizer. The chemical
promises to increase yields fourfold, fueling the mission of abundance laid
out for them. Then it's planting time, and with a rented tractor, Ian and
Curt set 31,000 seeds in the ground in 18 minutes. Their seed has been
genetically modified for high yields and herbicide tolerance, and when the
seedlings sprout, Ian and Curt apply a powerful spray to ensure that only
their corn will thrive on their acre.

But where will all that corn go? Ian and Curt leave Iowa to find out, first
considering their crop's future as feed. In Colorado, rancher Sue Jarrett
says her cattle should be eating grass. But with a surplus of corn, it
costs less to raise cattle in confinement than to let them roam free: "The
mass production of corn drives the mass production of protein in
confinement." Animal nutritionists confirm that corn makes cows sick and
beef fatty, but it also lets consumers eat a $1 hamburger. Feedlot owner
Bob Bledsoe defends America's cheap food, but as Ian and Curt see in
Colorado, the world behind it can be stomach turning. At one feedlot,
100,000 cows stand shoulder-to-shoulder, doing their part to transform Iowa
corn into millions of pounds of fat-streaked beef.

Following the trail of high fructose corn syrup, Ian and Curt hop attempt to
make a home-cooked batch of the sweetener in their kitchen. But their
investigation of America's most ubiquitous ingredient turns serious when
they follow soda to its consumption in Brooklyn. Here, Type II diabetes is
ravaging the community, and America's addiction to corny sweets is to blame.

The breadth of the problem is now clear: the American food system is built
on the abundance of corn, an abundance perpetuated by a subsidy system that
pays farmers to maximize production. In a nursing home in the Indiana
suburbs, Ian and Curt come face-to-face with Earl Butz, the Nixon-era
Agriculture Secretary who invented subsidies. The elderly Butz champions
the modern food system as an "Age of plenty" Ian and Curt's
great-grandfathers only dreamed of.

November pulls Ian and Curt back to Iowa. Their 10,000-pound harvest seems
as grotesque as it is abundant. They haul their corn to the elevator and
look on as it makes its way into a food system they have grown disgusted
by. At a somber farm auction, Ian and Curt decide to tell their landlord
they want to buy the acre. The next spring their cornfield has been pulled
from production and planted in a prairie, a wild square surrounded by a sea
of head-high corn.

Presented by Balcony Releasing
A Production of Mosaic Films Incorporated
A Film by Aaron Woolf, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney
Co-Produced by Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis
Edited by Jeffrey K. Miller
Camera by Sam Cullman, Aaron Woolf and Ian Cheney
Original Music by The WoWz with Bo Ramsey and Spencer Chakedis
Produced and Directed by Aaron Woolf
King Corn is a co-production of Mosaic Films Incorporated and the
Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

About the Filmmakers

Director and Producer Aaron Woolf received a Master's in film at the
University of Iowa, but got the bulk of his education in the field in Lima,
Mexico City, and Los Angeles. In 2000, Aaron directed Greener Grass: Cuba,
Baseball, and The United States, a WNET-ITVS co-production that won a Rockie
Award and aired on PBS. In 2003, Aaron directed Dying to Leave: The Global
Face of Human Trafficking and Smuggling, which won a Logie Award and aired
on the PBS series Wide Angle. Aaron is the founder of Mosaic Films and an
avid mountaineer.

Co-Producers Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis became best friends at Yale. In
college, Ian and Curt tried in various ways to reconnect students to their
food, releasing sheep on the central campus, working to bring local foods
into the dining halls, and taking incoming freshmen on orientation trips to
organic farms. After graduation, Ian and Curt took a cross-country trip,
and learned how little they really knew about the centerpiece of the
American diet, corn. With Curt's cousin Aaron on board as director, the
team moved to Iowa and started farming and filming in 2004.

Editor Jeffrey K. Miller has directed and edited numerous short films,
comedy sketches, and commercials, including recent spots for Converse and
the US Government. He was an assistant director on the IFC film The Baxter
and is a member of the New York comedy troupe Trophy Dad. Jeff attended
Yale with Ian and Curt, and is currently enrolled in film school at

The New York anti-folk band The WoWz is a collaboration between Simon Beins,
Sam Grossman and Johnny Dydo. Their releases include Brudders, Long Grain
Rights and Cool Dump. Iowa sessions for King Corn were produced by two-time
Grammy nominee Bo Ramsey.

Subsidizing Obesity

Corn is the nation's most-planted, most-processed, most-subsidized crop.

More than 80 million acres of the heartland are planted in corn each year,
and delivered to our tables:

"If you take a McDonald's meal, you don't realize it when you eat it, but
you're eating corn. Beef has been corn-fed. Soda is corn. Even the French
fries. Half the calories in the French fries come from the fat they're
fried in, which is liable to be either corn oil or soy oil. So when you're
at McDonald's, you're eating Iowa food. Everything on your plate is corn."
-- Michael Pollan, UC Berkeley, in King Corn

There is legislative logic to the flood of cheap corn-based foods. In 2005,
federal subsidies spent $9.4 billion in taxpayer money to promote corn
production. For Iowa farmers, these payments often mean the difference
between profit and loss on a given acre. With subsidies promoting
production beyond market demand, the raw materials for an obesity epidemic
are readily at hand.

King Corn brings these issues to light just as Congress is set to debate the
2007 Farm Bill, a once-in-seven-years opportunity to change what our tax
dollars subsidize and how we eat.

For further reading on corn, consult Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's
Dilemma, the Farm Subsidies Database at, or

Corn by the Numbers

On the farm:

Number of acres planted in corn in the U.S. in 1970: 66.9 million

Number of acres planted in 2004: 80.9 million

Number in 2007: 92.9 million

Percent change since 1970: +39

Number of acres planted in corn in Iowa in 1970: 10.8 million

Number of acres planted in 2007: 14.3 million

Iowa's average yield, in bushels per acre, of corn in 1970: 86

Iowa's average yield, in bushels per acre, in 2007: 180

Percent change since 1970: +109

Number of acres planted in vegetables in the U.S. last year: 2 million

Number of acres planted in vegetables in Iowa last year: 2,800

Number if acres planted in sweet corn-for corn in the cob-in the U.S. last
year: 253,500

Percentage of those acres that are in Florida, the number-one
sweet-corn-growing state: 13

Rank of New York among top sweet-corn-growing states: 3

Last year in which a record was set in the U.S. for corn production, in
bushels: 2004

Percentage points by which 2007 corn production is projected to exceed that
record: +10.6

Number of bushels to be harvested in 2007: 13.1 billion

In your body:

Rank of refined sugar, or sucrose, among most-used sweeteners in the U.S. in
1966: 1

Rank in 2007: 2

Rank of high-fructose corn syrup in 2007: 1

Estimated percentage of high-fructose corn syrup consumed from beverages: 66

Rank of soft drinks among top beverages consumed by Americans: 1

Minimum percentage of a soda that is made up of high-fructose corn syrup: 7

Maximum percentage: 14

Percentage by which high-fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sugar: 60

Average, in pounds, of high-fructose corn syrup consumed by an American in
1970: 0.6

Average, in pounds, consumed in 2000: 73.5

Size, in ounces, of McDonald's Supersize soda, discontinued in 2004: 42

Size, in ounces, of McDonald's new extra-large soda, Hugo, introduced in
2007: 42

Percentage of Americans categorized as overweight or obese in 1971: 47.7
Percentage in 2004: 66

Percentage of American children categorized as overweight or obese in 1971:

Percentage in 2004: 17.5

In our Wallets:

Rank of Iowa among states receiving the most money in corn subsidies: 1

Rank of New York: 16

Rank of corn growers among farmers receiving the most farm subsidies in
Iowa: 1

Rank of corn growers among farmers receiving the most farm subsidies in New
York: 1

Amount, in dollars, that Iowa corn farmers received in subsidies, 2003-2005:
3.4 billion

Amount that New York corn farmers received: 173 million

Amount, in dollars, received by Floyd County, IA corn farmers, 2003-2005:
37.5 million

Amount, in dollars, received by Greene, IA's top recipient of subsidies:

Number of farm subsidy recipients in Greene, Iowa: 317

Population of Greene, Iowa: 1,015

Amount, in dollars, that the top 20% of subsidy recipients received,
2003-2005: 29.1 billion

Amount, in dollars, that the remaining 80% of recipients received: 5.6

Amount, in dollars, received by the subsidy program's single top recipient:
7.9 million