A Prairie Home Companion Pokes Fun at Iowa Corn
A Prairie Home Companion, the long-running radio variety show, Robert Altman movie and purveyor of powdermilk biscuits, usually broadcasts from St. Paul, Minnesota. Last week's performance originated from Des Moines. During the show's the Lives of the Cowboys segment, the following exchange transpired.
SS: We're with the F.C.C. The Farmers Corn Commission.
GK: They're here, Dusty.
TR: The corn commission people—
GK: Right, this is my assistant, Dusty — Debbie Moinihan and Mr. Butz.
FN: Bill W. Butz.
SS: Let me get right to the point, fellas. Iowa is built on corn.
FN: We raise more corn than any other state in the U.S..
SS: About two and a half billion bushel.
FN: At 4.35 a bushel, that's almost eleven billion dollars from corn alone.
SS: There's a nice federal subsidy too, about a hundred dollars an acre. But never mind.
FN: Here's the problem right here. Corn is bad for you.
SS: Very bad. High fructose corn syrup — we pump it out of Des Moines in a pipeline. Goes to Chicago and then south. Corn syrup is in everything. And it turns to fat. Hard on your heart. Raises your blood pressure. And it shuts down the part of the brain that tells you to stop eating. It's as bad as alcohol.
FN: Basically, our economy is based on selling poison.
SS: So here's where you come in— when you feed corn to cows and pigs, it makes for more saturated fat than in grass-fed livestock.
FN: Cows are designed to digest grass, not corn. When they eat corn, it makes them bloated and gassy.
SS: And they're more likely to produce the deadly E. coli bacteria, and more likely to fart. Huge amounts of methane. And cow farts carry this deadly bacteria.
TR: So that's why you carry those gas masks.
FN: Exactly right.
SS: So here's where you cowboys come in— we'd like you to start up a grazing operation— take our livestock for a walk so we can advertise them as grass-fed.
GK: Well, aren't you concerned about your kids? Your families? Inhaling e-Coli in cow flatulence?
FN: They all live in Minneapolis. Upwind of Iowa.
GK: Let me ask you this— you guys eat beef or pork?
SS: Nope. We're strictly vegetarian.
GK: So how much you paying us per day in the saddle inhaling methane?
SS: A thousand dollars a week.
TR: Gimme a gas mask. When do I start?
FN: Right away.
TR (IN GAS MASK): (INCOMPREHENSIBLE GIBBERISH)
GK: No gas mask for me. I will ride out in front of the herd and my administrative assistant will bring up the rear.