Have you driven past fields of corn and wonder why farmers would waste their time growing that crop? Or why there are so many farmers growing corn that we can’t even eat? Well, truth be told, that corn (grain corn) is a really valuable grain crop and is used for so many different things including good for us to eat!
First, lets talk about the different types of corn we can eat…
Sweet corn, popcorn, and grain corn (also known as field corn or cow corn).
Sweet corn is known as corn on the cob, popcorn is the corn we pop in the microwave.
Grain corn has many, many uses. In fact, did you know over 2,500 items in the grocery contain corn as an ingredient? Corn flour can be used to make corn bread, corn starch can be used in baking, corn oil as a cooking oil, and cornmeal for a coating on your favourite proteins.
This is the yellow corn you see in the fields during the fall, and grain corn is super valuable! We use corn to make other things like mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo, hand sanitizer, ethanol, whisky, cleaning products, diapers, band aids, cardboard, AND it’s used to feed many farm animals like chickens, pigs, and cows.
Looking for other items made from grain corn? Kansas Corn has a great list of items containing corn.
In Ontario we grow just over 2 million acres of corn and most of that (87%) is used locally here in Ontario for animal feed, ethanol use, and food for us to eat.
The next time you are driving around Ontario and you see yellow fields of corn, remember this is the grain that feed us, fuels us, and is used in many items in our everyday lives.
Want to use grain corn more in your recipes? Learn how to cook it here.