Corn

Maize, cob, sweet-corn, kernel, corn-on-the-cob. However you refer to it, it’s just plain good food with plenty of history!!! Read on, and prepare to be amaized!!!!!!!  (Oh, there I go again)  :)))))))) 

Driving out to the country this past weekend, Jackie and I marveled at the extensive amount of corn.  It seemed like in all directions corn was growing everywhere.  I’m so impressed by the farmers and ranch hands who can plant, care for and harvest corn. Talk about PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! Prepping, clearing, turning, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, storing, and all along praying that this year’s crop will be great again. We of course stopped at a roadside country market and filled up on fresh vegetables, tasty fruits, and lots of corn.  I love it boiled some and roasted some on the grill, all black and tasty, smothered in butter and touch of salt… (sounds good, eh?). I thought it would be fun to see what “corny” info is out there – boy did I get an earful (get it?). Seeing the list, it’s unlikely that a day goes where we don’t encounter corn in one form or another. While we enjoy sweet corn as a side dish, it’s also something we all rely on in more ways to count – from washing our hands, brushing our teeth, having a soda  to fueling our cars.  Here’s a hitlist of corn info I thought you’d enjoy – and some facts that all I can say is … now you know!  Be sure to get your fill of sweet country corn from the markets over the next few weeks – it truly is amaizing (ok I’ll stop).  I added some corn recipes at the end for my foodies out there… special thanks to kidadl.com and loveandlemons.com for the info. Enjoy!

 

  • The average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows. Corn cobs always have an even number of rows. An ear of corn has one silk stand for every kernel and each corn plant produces one to three cobs each.
  • Only 1% of corn planted in the United States is sweet corn – the full list grown in America includes dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn. Usually corn is yellow, but it can also come in colors such as green, red, or white.
  • The world record for the tallest corn stalk is more than 35 feet.
  • An acre of corn eliminates 8 tons of carbon dioxide from our air – with about 90 million acres planted, let’s see,  that’s about 72 million tons eliminated (yea!)  91 gallons of water is needed to produce one pound of corn.
  • Corn was first domesticated in southern Mexico more than 10,000 years ago. Humans bred field corn from an ancient grass called teosinte. Corn became more widely popular in the late 1700s when it became accessible to Europeans. Corn is grown on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica.
  • Early pioneers planted four corn plants to harvest one. There was even a rhyme about it: “One for the maggot, one for the crow, one for the cutworm, one to grow”.
  • Corn is used in foods like cereal, potato chips, soft drinks, cooking oil, and more. It’s also used in non-food items like fireworks, glue, fabric, crayons, fuel, paint, laundry detergent, cosmetics, and plastics.
  • All corn is technically a grain, a fruit and a vegetable. The ear, or cob, of corn is a vegetable, each kernel is a grain, and all grains are fruits.
  • Sweet corn becomes starchy easily, so it should be eaten within a few days after picking.  The husk of fresh corn should be bright green, with a golden tassel. If the stalk end is brown, the corn is not fresh.
  • The first mechanical corn harvested was invented by Gleaner Harvester Combine Corporation in 1930. (bunch of corn harvester videos – wow)
  • Most countries outside of the United States call corn maize.  Maize is a Taino word that means “sacred mother” or “giver of life”.
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  • Corn leaves may only be 4 inches wide, but they can measure up to 4 feet long.  The average corn stalk is 8 to 10 feet tall. Corn stalks look like bamboo canes, with 20 internodes of 7 inches each. Although most corn kernels are quite small, they’ve been seen to grow as big as 1 inch.
  • Corn plants have both male and female flowers. The tassel is the male flower while the ear is the female flower.
  • Any variety of maize grown for production of livestock food, ethanol, cereal or processed food is called field corn.
  • Dent corn gets its name from its dented kernels. It’s mostly for animal feed, in processed food, or to produce ethanol.
  • Flour corn, as its name suggests, is usually used to make corn flour and cornmeal.
  • Flint corn’s hard, colorful kernels make it too tough to eat. It’s mainly used like dent corn.
  • Pod corn has extra leaves that cover up each individual kernel.
  • Corn plants had only one ear of corn until Native American farmers crossed different varieties to produce more food.
  • Farmers collectively produce over 45 billion bushels each year.  Corn is measured in bushels. One bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. The United States is the biggest corn producer in the world, followed by China, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and India.  Over a third of the world’s corn is grown in the United States, where it is a major crop.
  • Iowa is the biggest corn producer in the United States and produced over 2.5 billion bushels of corn last year.  Iowa produces so much corn, it’s called the Corn State.
  • Corn grows best in subtropical and temperate climates, which is why it grows so well in Iowa.  Iowa may grow the most corn, but Japan buys the most: in 2019, it spent $3.5 billion on the yellow stuff.
  • 30% of all the corn production in the USA is for livestock feed, while 40% goes for biofuels like ethanol.
  • Corn has over 3,500 uses in cookery, industry and more. That’s a lot of corn products!  Things as diverse as cosmetics, laundry detergent, soap, antibiotics, fireworks, glue, paint and chewing gum are produced from corn – there is even corn in drywall.
  • Corn is used to supply ethanol production. Ethanol is added to gasoline to make it burn more cleanly, reducing air pollution.
  • A major ingredient in many soft drinks is corn syrup. One bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soft drinks.
  • Your toothpaste has corn in it. Sorbitol, a corn product, is used to bulk up toothpaste.Corn is used to replace oil as a major ingredient in new bioplastic products. It’s less harmful to the environment.
  • Corn oil is produced when a kernel is processed to make cornmeal or cornstarch. Companies then bottle it and sell it for cooking.  As well as frying food, corn oil is used in skincare because of its high levels of Vitamin E.
  • In the USA, corn makes up 95% of all livestock feed as well as being the main ingredient in dry pet food.
  • Corn is a good source of vitamins A, B and E as well as minerals and antioxidants.  Grains like corn are also a good source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber.
  • Almost every food in Mexican cookery uses maize. It’s the main ingredient in tortillas, tamales, pozole, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas and more.
  • Many cultures like corn porridge. Italy calls it polenta, it’s angu in Brazil, mamaliga in Romania, kacamak in Serbia and cornmeal mush or hominy grits in the US.
  • Maize was first grown about 7,000 to 10,000 years ago in southern Mexico. ‘Maize’ is a Taino word that means ‘sacred mother’ or ‘giver of life’ and was once considered so valuable that people traded things like meat and furs for it instead of money.
  • Sweet corn is only about 1000 years old and was first found in Brazil.  The Iroquois called sweet corn ‘papoon’. The sweet grain spread to Europe when the Iroquois gave some to European settlers in 1779.
  • Archeologists found some corn kernels at a dig on the east coast of Peru. Despite being over 1,000 years old, the kernels still popped when cooked.  5,600-year-old ears of popcorn were found in the Bat Cave of West Central New Mexico.
  • Native Americans used corn leaves as chewing gum. Corn is still used in gum production today.
  • Asian countries like China and Korea use soft corn silk to make a nutritious tea packed with vitamin K and potassium.
  • Popcorn is exploding food. The puffy snack is made when a certain variety of corn heats up and explodes.  Americans eat around 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year, enough to fill the Empire State Building 18 times.
  • Fun recipes

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))  
Have fun!!

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