Recently while listening to a TV story it mentioned that corn was the biggest grain in the world, pursuing it further I found it to be of great interest, so I decided to put an article together and place it on my site for viewers to examine, it is remarkable what little kernels of corn can produce. Probably most people think of corn as, popcorn, canned corn, frozen corn, cooked fresh corn on the cob smothered with butter and a little salt.
Well something I never new until now that the corn plant does not occur naturally in the wild. It was derived from a wild grass found in central Mexico some 7,000 years ago. This wild grass called teosinte has very small kernels that are not placed close together, and historians have traced what they believe that corn was developed from teosinte this wild grass.
Looking back through time it would be interesting to know how they cultivated and turned the wild teosinte plant with its little cobs into a nourishing corn grain food. As the development grew into and edible food tribes throughout North and South America, eventually depended upon this corn crop for much of their food.
Corn kernels when matured and are dry can be a seed for future planting. There are many other varieties grown for their specific use, there is a variety of corn with beautiful multiple red and brown tones dried that are used for decoration purposes. cultivated fields are bigger than what you’d want to walk through in a month.
When Columbus took his famous boats trips to this part of the world he probably noticed that corn was a bit part of the native peoples diet. Up to a time in the distant past people living in Europe didn’t know about corn, but it eventually found its way over there, now corn has become world wide.
The first Thanksgiving came about around 1621, and it’s not likely cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie were not on the menu, no doubt Indian corn certainly would have been served. I can look back when I was around 12 and remember I grew some Golden Bantam in my back yard, this variety was very good for cooking when fresh, yes cooked corn on the cob rolled in butter and a little salt.
Here’s 11 Ways Corn is Used
Grinding whole corn we get Cornmeal, some uses are, cornbread, batter, deep-fried, corn flour more finely ground makes, pancakes, donuts, breading certain meats etc, and baby food. Masa flour, a corn flour, is used to make tortillas and tamales.
- Corn Sugar
Corn sugar is used to sweeten a variety of products like, soft drinks, making beer at home etc. There is even corn syrup.
In the back hills of some states hidden in forests, whiskey has been made from corn in home made distilleries, for years, bottled and sold as moonshine. Federal taxes are imposed on making whiskey, moonshiners don’t pay Federal taxes, that’s why making moonshine is illegal.
There are many lawful big distilleries making whiskey from corn, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Johnny Walker, Canadian Mist. The whiskey industry is split into two parts, the legal distilling of Bourbon, and the illegal distilling of moonshine.
Corn steep liquor can be used in a petri dish to culture Penicillin, but for producing large quantities of penicillin a much larger operation is used. Until the 1940s It was discarded as waste.
One of nature’s major renewable resources is Starch, and its use in our daily lives, Included in our food and industrial use. Uses such as textiles, paper and adhesive applications are major uses for corn starch. Hundreds of adhesive applications use corn starches, and their derivatives dextrins.
This list goes on with Other key uses of starch in American industry, flocculating agents, anti-caking agents, mold-release agents, thickening agents and dusting powder. Corn Starch has been used to stiffen cloth for ironing. In batteries, cornstarch is often used as an electrical conductor.
Mixing distilled alcohol from corn with Regular gasoline gives us ethanol. With the distilled alcohol of up to 10 percent blend, ethanol can power cars. The making of ethanol is criticised as costing -more- than its use as a replacement for gasoline.
The ethanol boondoggle came about when the US was believed not to have the necessary oil for the nation, but so much oil has been found with the advent of fracking, the US is now exporting oil. So much corn is needed to make ethanol, concerns are it raises the higher price of corn for food. With enough oil for making gasoline, it eliminates the need for the higher cost of making ethanol.
Its reported that Tea brewed from cornsilk is used as a remedy for urinary tract infections, as it has the ability to increase the flow of urine, which allows the body to get rid of excess water. The tea has been reported and marketed to help everything for a number of ailments, including diabetes to cancer.
The medical associations have said there is insufficient evidence for such claims. Cornsilk is not harmful to most people, as reported, but you may want to consult your local doctor.
- Corn Cobs
Corn cobs are probably thought as the throwaway part of corn, but they have their uses, livestock feed is made from Ground cobs, absorbents for oil and hazardous waste, insecticides, fertilizer, and what! corn cob jelly. Pipes can still be made out of a corn cob.
- Corn Oil
Corn oil is produced from the corn kernels its uses include, for frying food in, for popping popcorn, Margarine can be made from corn oil, as well as other vegetable oils. Corn oil is used in many cosmetics, medicines, soaps etc.
The corn germ becomes a waste product after the oil has been pressed out of the corn kernel. Ingredient of corn germ can be used to raise industrial glue to industrial-strength, as it reduces the amount of resin required in the glue formula.
- Cleaning the Drilling Bits of Oil Platforms
A special compound derived from corn starch that has been previously discarded is used in cleaning the drilling bits of oil drilling platforms, which helps in flushing the mud off the bit. In fracking, drilling bits drill to a mile in depth or more.
Wow, I never heard of cornstarch used as an electrical conductor, I always thought only metal was an electrical conductor.