The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
The astounding productivity of American farmers proved to be their own worst enemy, as well as a threat to public health. For when yields rise, the market is flooded with grain, and its price collapses ... The excess biomass works like a vacuum in reverse: Sooner or later, clever marketers will figure out a way to induce the human omnivore to consume the surfeit of cheap calories. (Pollan 101)
Corn whiskey, suddenly superabundant and cheap, became the drink of choice, and in the 1820 the typical American was putting away half a pint of the stuff every day. That comes to more than five gallons of spirits a year for ever man, woman, and child in America. ... Employers were expected to supply spirits over the course of the workday; in fact the modern coffee break began as a late morning whiskey break called 'the elevenses.' (Pollan 100)
Corn accounts for most of the surplus calories we're growing and most of the surplus calories we're eating ... Since the human desire for sweetness surpasses even our desire for intoxication, the cleverest thing to do with a bushel of corn is to refine it into thirty-three pounds of high-fructose corn syrup. That at least is what we're doing with about 530 million bushels of the annual corn harvest--turning it into 17.5 billion pounds of high-fructose corn syrup. (Pollan 103)
In Defense of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating --Francesca Mari