Corn is their Blood, Corn is their Dollars: Analyzing the cultural and economic value of corn between Mexico and the United States Open Access

Lewis, Andrea Candace (2011)

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Corn is their blood, Corn is their Dollars: Analzying the cultural and economic value of corn
between Mexico and the United States
By Andrea Lewis
Corn is the pride of Mexico and the blood of the Mexican people. Since prehistoric Mexico,
when the Mayans and Incas inhabited Mesoamerica, corn has been an essential crop to everyday
life from extensive religious activity to daily nutrition. Today the crop is used in Mexico in many
different ways from cuisine to bio fuel. Corn originated in Mexico and because of this, there is
great pride in the cultivation of the crop. Farmers in rural areas still perform harvesting rituals to
evoke the benelovent spirits of corn gods. The use of corn in many Mexican dishes and the
traditional methods that rural farmers still use both show the importance of corn in Mexican
culture. However, in the past few decades, Mexico has had to import corn from the United
States due to a growing population and demand. Consequently, domestic corn production has
suffured since the implementation of the North American Free Trade agreement and Mexico
continues to import growing amounts of corn from the United States. With this increase in corn
importation, controversy has arisen due to the amount of transgenic corn that has crossed the
border from the U.S. into the corn fields of Mexico. Many activists fear that transgenic corn is a
threat to native Mexican strands and a threat to Mexican culture. In my thesis, I will answer how
important corn is to the Mexican culture today, how NAFTA has changed Mexican views on
corn and how an economically changing Mexico will affect the cultural significance of corn. I will answer these important questions by showing the cultural importance and relevance of corn today in Mexico and what measures are being taken to protect domestic corn production. Also, I will show how transgenic corn is threatening Mexico's native corn strands and how changes within the tortilla industry show how a changing Mexican economy is affecting the cultural value of corn.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Corn
Chapter 2: Corn in Early Mesoamerican Life
Chapter 3: Corn in Mexico Today
Chapter 4: NAFTA
Chapter 5: Transgenic Corn
Chapter 6: Mexican Tortilla Industry
Chapter 7: Conclusion
Appendix : Current Economy of Mexico
Works Cited

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