With corn season just around the CORN-er, it's interesting to consider the United States' role in this nearly perfect commodity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, America is the largest producer of corn in the world and is grown on over 400,000 U.S. farms. Grown mostly in the Heartland, there is some 80 million acres of farm that is dedicated to corn in America. That's about the size of Germany. In 2000, the U.S. produced almost ten billion bushels of the world’s total 23 billion bushel crop.
Although corn boasts a fierce lineup of beneficial attributes (low-fat, low-sodium, high-fiber, high-vitamin C), unfortunately, a lot of harvested corn is a genetically modified version known as BT Corn. Crops produced this way, although considered technically equivalent in nutritional value by the FDA, hosts a bacterium that acts as a pesticide, which obviously helps yield more crop, but may also carry health risks. These yields are often used to make livestock feed, corn chips and high-fructose corn syrup. With this in mind, it is important to try and buy organic produce, especially corn, when possible.
Here are some recipes to start thinking about once you get your hands on some market-fresh corn:
- For an all American feel: Corn Mashed Potatoes
- For a healthy feel: Roasted Corn Salad (With Video!)
- For a Red Rooster feel: Corn Succotash
- For a soup feel: Roasted Acorn Squash and Corn Soup
- For a decadent feel: Blueberry and Corn Clafoutis
For more topics by the numbers: