There is a reason why corn is the most-produced grain worldwide; it is involved in just about every aspect of our lives. Corn provides about 21 percent of human nutrition across the globe. On top of that, most of the corn grown in the U.S. and Canada is actually is fed to animals, so it should be no surprise that corn is America’s number one field crop. There are many other non-culinary uses for the grain as well; it is a key ingredient in ethanol, cosmetics, ink, glue, laundry starch, medicines and fabrics, just to name a few. Native Americans, the original corn farmers, even wove the husks into clothing, baskets and toys. Corn is an essential ingredient in our diets and also in our world.
Types Of Corn
There are many different types of corn. The best-known version is Sweet Corn, the traditional summertime treat covered in butter and salt and eaten off the cob. Sweet Corn earned its name from its high sugar content and is generally only consumed by humans. Next is Dent Corn (also known as Field Corn), which is usually fed to livestock and used to make industrial products. The third kind is Flint Corn, which is also known as the decorative Indian Corn that comes in a range of colors and is often symbolic of fall and Thanksgiving. Flint Corn is primarily grown in Central and South America. It is a sub variety of Flint Corn that we use to make popcorn.
Corn and Health
Each whole grain offers different nutrients, and in the case of corn, its high point is Vitamin A – with more than 10 times that of other grains. Recent research shows that corn is also high in antioxidants and carotenoids that are associated with eye health, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. As a gluten-free grain, corn is a key ingredient in many gluten-free foods.