The Corn Kid became a TikTok sensation last summer after being featured on the YouTube program Recess Therapy. Tariq, called the Corn Kid, showed his love of corn in the video while gorging on a buttery ear. He is a huge fan of maize. He feels that everyone should just give it a shot. It turns out that we already have, whether or not we realize it.
Corn is widely available and is regarded as a fruit, vegetable, and grain. The second-highest yielding crop in the world is it. With 36% of its exports made up of maize, the United States is the world’s greatest producer. The vastness of the corn belt, which runs throughout the Midwest and Great Plains and as far south as the panhandle of Texas, is proof that it is extremely simple to farm and generates great yields in the United States. The annual maize crop has grown from 2 billion to 10 billion bushels since 1950.
Okay, you reply. We don’t necessarily need to expand as much just because we can. Why do we make so much corn? And for what purpose is all of this maize used?
Why is a practical and political issue. Read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan if you want the full story. The short story is that food costs skyrocketed in the early 1970s. In order to feed the multitudes, Nixon, who was president at the time, started subsidizing grain. Agribiotech business Monsanto contributed by genetically modifying corn seeds to make them more resilient, and before we knew it, there was an abundance of corn. There was no hunger. Hee hee. The corn was then overproduced, nevertheless. The authorities had to decide what to do with the leftover corn on the cob since there is a limit to how much individuals may consume.
They are fortunate because corn has a wide range of uses
Let’s start by discussing its food forms. I prefer to categorize it into overt corn and covert corn.
Since apparent corn is just conventional corn cooked in various ways, such as popcorn, canned corn, and corn on the cob, it is, well, obvious. This form frequently comes out entire and may or may not be digested, polka-dotting your faeces only. To produce foods that still taste like corn, such as cornbread, polenta, and corn tortillas, it may also be processed into a meal. Because it includes antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, apparent corn provides a lot of health advantages when consumed in moderation. (Interesting fact: The majority of synthetic vitamin C comes from maize that has been genetically altered.
But a variety of other food items, such as corn oil, corn starch, dextrose (a sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup, are manufactured from maize but go unnoticed. I refer to this corn as stealth corn since it gets into practically everything without anyone noticing. For frying and baking, as well as in prepared meals like potato chips, mayonnaise, margarine, salad dressing, etc., corn oil is used as a cooking oil. Baby food, breads, cakes, antibiotics, canned vegetables, drinks, even dairy and animal items all include corn starch as a filler. Except for those prepared foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose is a common ingredient in grocery store prepared foods. When compared to conventional sucrose, high fructose corn syrup is more difficult for your body to digest (from cane sugar). In addition, it can trigger a variety of other illnesses, which we shall discuss shortly.
We consume corn in almost all of our food. Additionally, almost every animal we eat is fed with it. In the US, maize makes up 96% of the grain used for animal feed. In actuality, animals are fed about 39% of the maize grown in the United States. If animals didn’t also want to eat other things, this would be okay. Although they are omnivores, chickens would like to eat insects, worms, other grains, and grasses in their diet. Cows kept in confinement are fed something called a complete mixed ration, which comprises a lot of grain, even though they prefer to eat grass and hay. By extension, the goods manufactured from these animals, such as dairy products from cows and eggs from chickens, are likewise “corn-fed.”
There are several non-edible by-products of maize that are employed in the production of items like:
#1. Using ethanol as fuel
#5. Medicine and vitamin binder
#6. Textiles and rugs
#7. Vitamin C
#9. Glue and paint
What impact does all this grain have on you? Let’s think about having supper at your preferred fast food joint. You examine the menu at the counter (or drive-through if you live in the suburbs) and decide on a cheeseburger, fries, and big Coke. You persuade yourself that none of stuff contains corn. Except that all of that contains corn. Let’s deconstruct it:
The animal from which the meat and cheese are made was consistently fed maize. Corn (corn syrup and corn starch) was used to bind the cheese and meat for the burger (same). The bun was likewise made with maize (corn starch and dextrose), and the fries were fried in corn oil. High fructose corn syrup, which is used to sweeten the soda, is made from maize, as is the plastic straw that you use to suck it up.
Just about everything contains corn. Then what? A cornspiracy, perhaps? Is eating too much maize an issue, or should we strive to stay away from it whenever possible?
As I already stated, consuming some genuine maize in moderation has certain advantages. However, the genetically modified varieties are more difficult, and 92% of the maize grown in the United States is changed genetically, according to the Center for Food Safety. The adjustments are intended to increase yields and help the corn survive. As an illustration, some sweet maize has undergone genetic modification to produce a pesticide on its own in the form of a microbe called Bacillus thuringiensis that is poisonous to insects. Although we consume it when we eat sweet corn, it is regarded as harmless for people. Another issue is the excessive amount of corn—whether modified or not—that is given to agricultural animals.
The majority of maize products can be consumed in moderation, while high fructose corn syrup should be avoided entirely. Our systems have a difficult time digesting the kind of sugar known as fructose. Consuming excessive fructose raises the risk of developing diabetes, fatty liver, obesity, and heart disease. Additionally, it causes inflammation, which exacerbates other illnesses like gout. The foods we consume every day yet have little nutritional value are candy, packaged sweets, soda, fast food, juice drinks, ice cream, ice cream topping syrups, sauces and condiments, fruit preserves and jams, bread, crackers, and pancake syrup. To find out what you’re consuming, read the labels, and choose items that are sweetened with sucrose or cane sugar. You may also just eat normal corn on the cob like the Corn Kid.