Did you enjoy your corn from this past week? My family, including the pets, found it to be exceptionally tasty. How did you prepare yours?
Corn is such a versatile and tasty veggie. There is no such thing as having too much corn in my book.
However, it is possible to have too many movies with corn in them.
Case in point, "Children of the Corn."
I wonder how corn feels being the backdrop of one of the cheesiest horror movies ever? I love horror movies, but the first was the last for me. Can you believe that this 1984 horror film spawned an entire franchise that includes 10 films with an eleventh currently in production?
The newest film is scheduled to come out in 2021.
Yeah, that movie is not going to scare me after this year.
Let's dive into a little of history and see how much we really know about corn.
Corn was domesticated from a grass called teocintle by the people of Meso-America approximately 10,000 years ago. The yellow corn commonly found in the United States is different than the traditional varieties cultivated in Mexico. The ears of corn may be a couple of inches to a foot long and in a multitude of colors, including white, red, yellow, blue and black. Some varieties even have a rainbow assortment of colors on one ear.
Corn, also known as maize, is now consumed around the world in many forms. We can eat it on the cob, pop it, turn it into a cooking oil, high-fructose syrup or flour and even a biofuel. It is a rich source of vitamins A, B, E, K, and many minerals. It also contains a lot of dietary fiber, antioxidants, calcium and smaller amounts of beta-carotene and niacin (substance of group B vitamins).
Due to corn being ubiquitous in our diets, I personally think it is important to find organic versions. I also stick to organic products that use corn as a major ingredient, such as cornbread mixes, breakfast cereals, etc.
GMO stands for genetically modified organism and refers to a plant or animal that has been modified by adding a small amount of genetic material from another organism.
That just doesn’t sound appetizing at all.
Yes, I know we are supposed to believe the science and trust that GMOs are not the bad guy they are made out to be.
In the case of GMO corn, genetic traits are added to give the plants protection from pests and more tolerance to pesticides. There are different types of GMO corn, according to the Genetic Literacy Project:
“There are currently two types of GMO corn seeds available to farmers: herbicide-tolerant (HT) corn, which allows farmers to better control weeds, and insect-resistant (Bt) corn, which fends off pests such as the corn borer. Some GMO corn strains have both the herbicide-tolerance and insect-resistance traits.
“Herbicide-tolerant corn is genetically engineered to confer resistance to the herbicide glyphosate, meaning that the crop is not affected by the herbicide but weeds are killed.
“This was achieved by incorporating genes from a soil bacterium into corn plants. Insect-resistant corn is genetically modified to include genes from another soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is commonly sprayed on organic farms as an approved natural pesticide. This built-in protection has been shown to reduce the need for insecticide spraying.”
A Newsweek article claimed GMO corn is safe and even has health benefits, but I will let you draw your own conclusions.
Throughout recent years, people have been seeking to get back to the basics and live a more natural lifestyle, and farmers have seen a major surge in demand for organic food, which is a positive trend.
Switching to organic produce not only provides a better economic outlook for U.S. farmers, but it also reduces our dependence on imported food.
It also clearly tastes much better too.
Now here is something I did not know: you can use corn silk to make a tea. If you would like to learn more, visit StyleCraze.
Here are some corny facts you can share with others, courtesy of Science Kids.
· Corn is called maize by most countries, this comes from the Spanish word ‘maiz.’
· Corn is a cereal crop that is part of the grass family.
· An ear or cob of corn is actually part of the flower and an individual kernel is a seed.
· On average an ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows.
· Corn will always have an even number of rows on each cob.
· There are over 3,500 different uses for corn products.
· As well as being eaten by the cob, corn is also processed and used as a major component in many food items like cereals, peanut butter, potato chips, soups, marshmallows, ice cream, baby food, cooking oil, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and chewing gum.
· Juices and soft drinks like colas contain corn sweeteners. A bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soft drink.
· Corn and its by products are also found in many non-food items such as fireworks, rust preventatives, glue, paint, dyes, laundry detergent, soap, aspirin, antibiotics, paint, shoe polish, ink, cosmetics, the manufacturing of photographic film, and in the production of plastics.
· Corn is also used as feeding fodder for livestock and poultry and found in domestic pet food.
· As of 2012, the United States produces 40% of the world’s total harvest making it the biggest maize producer in the world.
· The "corn belt" in the U.S. includes the states of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky.
· In the days of the early settlers to North America corn was so valuable that it was used as money and traded for other products such as meat and furs.
· Corn is now a completely domesticated plant so you're unlikely to find it growing in the wild.
Remember that copies of "Bounty from the Box" book are available for purchase. It normally sells for $35, but is $25 for our CSA members.
If you are interested, please call or text Marianne at 917-755-6997 to reserve a copy.
Venmo or cash are acceptable.
"I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows" (Henry David Thoreau).
Have a wonderful week everyone. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.