Corn—the great and the grim

CornUpCloseCorn—the great and the grim—has been cultivated for up to 8,000 years.

The Aztecs, Mayans, Incas, Olmecs and many other ancient Indian tribes of the Americas depended upon and revered the ‘corn gods’,’ corn mothers’ or’ corn maidens,’ deities of maize.

And, thousands of years later, who among us has not enjoyed the fresh new crops of spring and summer corn-on the-cob?

Corn kept many of the ancients alive.

However, although corn was a valuable nutritional food, it was not a whole food, and scientists have found that the bodies of early cultures that depended on corn for almost their entire diet weakened over the years of early agriculture.

Today we know that fresh corn offers many nutritional benefits as a side vegetable. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, carotenoids, anthrocyanins, manganese, niacin, essential acids, magnesium, vitamin C and the vitamins B.

But a fox called genetic engineering (GE or GMO’s) entered the traditional old-fashioned ‘corn house,’ and most corn is no longer the same.

The pure traditional and exceedingly versatile products of nature’s ancient corn plant have been combined with chemicals to make high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Industrial corn is also used in manufacturing many other chemical additives that, along with GM soy, adulterate 80 percent of the processed and packaged food Americans and others consume today.

The U.S. is the world’s leading producer of corn, with more than 90 percent of it genetically modified.

Ninety million acres of corn are grown in the U.S. (mostly for animal food and additives) but only 250,000 acres are planted in sweet corn.

And plain old sweet corn, untinkered with, whether it’s certified organic (the best) or GM, is certainly worth a few good feeds!

The rest of corn—the great and the grim— is grown for animal feed and byproducts for packaged and processed food (the grim)…in depleted soil with depleted nutrients.

Corn deserves a historical tribute as a good food. It was not always just a basis for unhealthy additives.

Apparently, Columbus was impressed in the 1400s. He took the seeds back to Spain and corn soon spread all over Europe.

A hundred years later, Europeans tried to claim corn as their own, calling it ‘Welsh corn,’ Asiatic corn,’ or ‘Turkish corn.’

It took Spanish botanists over half a century to convince European herbalists that Columbus had brought the plants from the ‘New World.’

So… it is up to discerning readers to identify and recognize the difference between pure corn and toxic corn—the great and the grim.

Sources:,, Folklore and Odysseys of Food and Medicinal Plants.