The spirit of growing and preparing food indigenous to our climate helps to support and develop our families, our communities and our dreams.

Following "The Spirit of Rice" film documentary, I was inspired to create a second film, "The Spirit of Corn" for people in America and across the globe to help them remember, understand, and feel gratitude for how the our ancestors' practices of cultivating and cooking corn shaped America and the world.








The Spirit of Corn


When people think of corn, they imagine summer nights with corn on the cob, going to the movies and getting buttery hands from that large bucket of popcorn, or even corn mazes during the fall festivities. As children, we learn about maize at the first Thanksgiving, but we rarely ever stop and think about where it all began.

Inspired by our previous documentary The Spirit of Rice, The Spirit of Corn dives even deeper into nature’s gifts, food culture, and the products and food we consume every day. It will also look at the greater impact of maize, as it was traditionally known, on the destiny of our nation and the planet.  The Spirit of Corn is not your traditional documentary. It’s not going into the growing process or about how corn is planted and harvested. It’s not focusing primarily on the global pandemic of high fructose corn syrup, GMO corn, and the other unhealthy products that corn has been transformed into. Those have all been done before. This documentary takes us back home. It takes us back to our family, culture, and roots. And it takes us forward to our future.  Food culture (by definition) refers to the practices, attitudes, and beliefs as well as the networks and institutions surrounding the production, distribution, and consumption of food. It’s a journey—learning about where you came from. It is a strong part of you and what makes you you. Corn is an ingredient in three out of every four processed foods we eat. It is the most widely produced grain in the world—greater than wheat or rice. It is also found in shampoo, envelopes, medications, and many other non-food products. For so long we’ve been feeding ourselves the easy way, picking up convenient meals at the supermarket, driving through fast-food establishments, and ordering take out. But what did our ancestors do? The Spirit of Corn will highlight America’s food culture dating to the Native Americans and Mesoamerican cultures, and the Western Hemisphere as a whole. It will envision what our children, grandchildren, and future generations will eat, cherish, and grow to sustain themselves in the future.

We hope the film will inspire young people consuming plant-based diets to incorporate more healthy corn dishes and other staples into their meals. We hope it will motivate older people who are making dietary changes for health reasons to eat more wholesome corn dishes. We hope the documentary will stimulate people to grow and cook with corn and prepare wonderful corn dishes at home, in schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other public places. We hope it will also encourage indigenous communities to grow more organic maize and share their traditional culinary and spiritual traditions.

As we rediscover our agricultural and culinary roots, we will travel the world, seeing agriculture and food in a different way. We will travel to Native American communities, local farms in different cities that grow organic corn, and explore the vast acres of land that continue to grow corn that brings people back to whole foods and a peaceful, more gentle connection with the
earth. It is our fondest hope that we will recover our strength with grain as central food.

Join us as we travel the globe and rediscover where we came from—and glimpse where we are going.

Sheri DeMaris, Alice Fava, Brian Smith, Patricio Garcia de Parades, Marlee Snyder, Tim Martinez, Allan Mhlanzi, Danka and Alex Jack

Donate to support the production of this documentary!