Is Corn King?
How much corn do you eat?
When was the last time that you ate corn? How was it served?
Corn (Zea mays) is a member of the grass (Poaceae) family. Corn is generally considered to have originated from a grassy weed found in Central and South America.
Plant selection by native farmers resulted in gradual changes in the genetic makeup of corn and this process was continued by immigrant European farmers who grew corn in the United States and adjacent areas of southern Canada.
Corn-on-the-cob is one of my personal favourites, we only have corn-on-the-cob when it is in season locally and then only for a few short weeks, but when it is fresh, either picked right off the stalk or purchased at a farm gate it is delicious.
Shepherd’s pie is a dish that demands kernel corn either canned or frozen, although my personal preference is frozen. This dish takes me back to my childhood when my grandmother used to make this and many other savoury dishes.
Another corn meal memory is creamed corn over mashed potatoes, as a child this was something I looked forward to and with some black pepper and a pad of butter, it was wonderful.
Over the years I poured cream corn over mashed turnips and a combination of mashed turnips, carrots and potatoes. It has been a few years since I tried this.
I have not had corn, at least not in a recognizable fashion for some weeks now, however, the other day I was reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and I was reminded that I consume more corn that I often realize.
As the food we eat here is usually fresh rather than processed and I drink little other than black coffee, water, cranberry juice and the occasional glass of red wine, my corn consumption is significantly less than someone whose diet involves pop, juices and pre-packaged foods.
Corn is in, in one form or another, much of what we consumer. For example, dextrose which is a thickener and sweetener is found in cold cuts, cream, ice cream, yogurt, canned soup, processed cheese, artificial sweetener, products for diabetics and nuts.
Two other commonly found forms are glucose-fructose which is a sweetener and found in sweet drinks, candy, pastries, condiments, processed cheese and fructose, another sweetener, found in sweet drinks, candy, pastries, condiments.
Corn is also used to feed livestock and in recent years with the search for alternative, friendlier waysto produce fuel, much farm land is being devoted to growing just one crop.
It may be time to rethink our dependence upon one crop and the precarious situation that may put us in.
- Kill king corn : Article : Nature
Nature is the international weekly journal of science: a magazine style journal that publishes full-length research papers in all disciplines of science, as well as News and Views, reviews, news, features, commentaries, web focuses and more, covering
uses for corn
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