Monday, December 28, 2020

Where does the corn go? The answer maize surprise you!


I probably have to apologize for that pun, but I do like sweet corn (which is more accurately called maize, and whose scientific name is Zea mays). It makes for a good snack, and of course I love some of the other foods where maize is a major component, such as corn tortilla.

But it should come as no surprise to people that unlike rice, which directly feeds several billion souls, the vast majority of the maize crop does NOT go into directly feeding people. In fact, when I looked it up, I was surprised to find out that only a very small percentage of whole maize makes it to the table.

The largest use of maize is for feeding animals (around 40%), and right behind it is its use as biofuel (around 30%). Less than 10% of the total crop goes to either food or drink in the USA, and even the majority of that ends up as high fructose corn syrup. Unfortunately, very little of that crop goes to making the sweet juicy snack that I love.

For a detailed and interesting look at how this very important grass species impacts the country, I highly recommend watching the documentary King Corn, which is available in its full length below.

Enjoy and learn!

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