Big Bad Corn (Infographic)

corn-field1If you've ever creeped your way through a corn maze at Halloween, you know how it can grab ahold of your imagination, turning benign stalks into monsters and discarded cobs into severed limbs. It's just a trick of the light–but take a look at the ways that the U.S. uses corn, and you'll see that a holiday thrill isn't the scariest thing about this product. It was first subsidized in the late '70s as a fossil fuel alternative, but it's turned out to be inefficient source of fuel. Not only that, ethanol from corn actually increases the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a higher rate than gasoline.

Yet, the U.S. pays $10 to $30 billion dollars each years in farm subsidies to raise even more of it, with no clear benefit to consumers. So every time you eat a pound of corn products–which statistics say you will do 37 times over this year alone–remember this graphic, which was created so you can learn stuff about the effects of corn, America's biggest agricultural product.

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