The Times podcast: Get out of here with that corn

A man in a cornfield
A man harvests corn on his farm in the Mexican town of San Jeronimo Xayacatlan.
(Fernando Llano / Associated Press)

Corn is a part of modern life in all sorts of ways: It fattens up livestock and gets turned into biofuels. We eat it on the cob, as grits, polenta and tortillas, and as syrup that sweetens so many other foods.


Most of the corn used in the U.S. is sprayed with weed killers such as glyphosate and is genetically modified to survive those weed killers and to create bigger yields — controversial practices.

Mexico, corn’s birthplace, imports millions of tons of U.S. corn each year. But there’s about to be a dramatic change. The nation is preparing to shut its doors to GMO corn and ban glyphosate. Today we talk with reporter Renée Alexander, as well as the head of a company that’s devoted to buying from Mexican farmers who grow non-GMO corn, about what that means for both Mexico and the United States.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: Journalist Renée Alexander and Masienda founder and CEO Jorge Gaviria

More reading:

Mexico is phasing out imports of glyphosate and GMO corn

Champion of poor or demagogue? Mexico’s president remains popular

Court upholds $25-million verdict against maker of glyphosate weed killer Roundup

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña and Melissa Kaplan. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.