12 Interesting Facts About Corn
Corn has many names: Corn, maize, and Indian Corn. Corn is a popular ingredient in our meals. There is some form of corn in everything you eat for Thanksgiving! A movie-watching experience is never complete without popcorn. Corn is a field crop that is pretty in-demand in America. It is cereal grass and food for both animals and us. Not only that, but you can also use it as a biofuel. Corn has many uses and exciting facts that we might not be aware of! Let us take a look at what else we know about corn.
Corn Basic Information:
- Name: Corn, Indian Corn, or maize
- Latin Name: Zea mays
- Type of Food: annual cereal grass
- Size and weight (on average): 2.5 cm or 1 inch in length, and the weight is 56 lbs per bushel
- Colour and shape (physical look):
- Color: Corn is usually one of the three colors – white, yellow, or both.
- Shape: It is different in shape or size, depending on the variety. Usually, corn stalks are 8 to 10 feet in height. Leafs of Corn is 3 to 4 inches wide, and they have stigmas (also called silks) that grow from the leaves. These look like golden hair and are yellow. Corn kernels are 1 inch. One single
- Total Calories: 90 cal
- Total Fat: 1 g
- Types of Corn: There are many types of corn, such as:
- Popcorn: Popcorn is the most famous type of corn. It is a type of flint corn. It is heated, and when that happens, the inside of the corn explodes to create the chewy, soft popcorn.
- Flint Corn: Flint corn can also pop under the heat. It is mostly harder than popcorn. It is popularly used in cornmeals.
- Flour Corn: Flour corn has a lot of starch and is white, so it is used in making flour, as its name suggests.
- Field or Dent Corn: This Corn has starch, but it shrinks when it is dry and creates a dent on top. This corn is helpful in making most Mexican food such as tamales, tortillas, etc. You can also use this corn to feed livestock animals.
- Sweet Corn: Sweet Corn has high sugar content. You should eat it within three days of harvesting it. If not, the sugars present inside will become starch and harm your digestion.
- Pod Corn: It is not used in foods because of its difference in shape and size. The leaves of the corn grow in the opposite direction as the regular corn.
12 Interesting Facts About Corn
1. Corn was grown for the first time in Mexico more than 9000 years ago!
The natives of Mexico domesticated corn around 9000 years ago. They did this by selectively cultivating a wild grass called ‘teosinte’ and breeding it with small grains. That crop is now called corn.
2. Popcorn is made because of the corn kernels exploding.
When you heat a corn kernel in a heat that is more than 400 degrees F, the starch present inside the kernel explodes, and a white, fluffy substance pops out. We eat these exploded kernels as ‘popcorn.’
3. There are more than 25 types of corn that you can make popcorn with.
Corn has multiple varieties, but you cannot make popcorn only with the main corn variety. There are more than 25 types of corn, and each of them is suitable to make different types of popcorn.
4. Corn is cultivated through machines now.
The first mechanical corn harvester was made in 1930 by the Gleaner Harvester Combine Corporation of Independence in Missouri. Before that, corn harvesting was done by hand.
5. Corn is a very thirsty crop.
To grow one pound of corn, you will need more than 90 gallons of water.
6. Growing Corn is good for the environment.
Corn is very eco-friendly. One acre of corn can remove up to 8 tons of carbon dioxide.
7. Corn stalks are taller than humans.
The average corn stalk is around 8 to 10 feet, but the tallest corn stalk record is more than 30 feet!
8. The United States of America is the largest producer of corn globally.
More than one-third of the entire world’s corn is grown in the United States. The major cornfields are located in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kentucky, and Michigan. More than 90 million acres of land in the USA cover cornfields.
9. Iowa alone produces so much corn that it is called the ‘corn’ state.
The reason why so much corn is grown in Iowa is because of the weather. Corn needs a subtropical and temperate climate to grow, and Iowa has both.
10. There is a rhyme for farmers to grow corn too!
Because corn is challenging to grow as a crop, farmers plant more of it. The rhyme for the corn plants goes like this: “One for the maggot, one for the crow, one for the cutworm, one to grow.”
11. Most soft drinks have more than 50% of corn.
Drinks such as cola or packaged fruit juices contain corn syrup to sweeten the drink. You can convert just one bushel of corn into a syrup. You can use this bushel to enhance more than 300 cans of juice!
12. Corn is eaten in different countries in different ways.
Mexico uses corn as one of its main ingredients. Corn is present in making traditional Mexican dishes such as tamales, pozole, quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, tortillas, etc. Countries such as Brazil, Romania, Serbia all have different names for a ‘corn porridge.’
Corn is essential to the diet of most Americans. It is primarily our major crop and has many uses in the cooking field and the industry, such as antibiotics, glue, fireworks, even makeup, and much more. Not only this, but eating corn has guaranteed health benefits – Corn can keep your diabetes in check and are a great source of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. The history of corn as a crop goes back many years. We hope that this article has helped you discover some amazing facts about corn. Think about these corny facts the next time you eat it!