A March 15th Vox Pox stated “that corn is for food.” I partially agree with this as 75% of all grocery items contain corn in some form, according to the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. However, a bushel of Minnesota corn can show up almost anywhere in one form or another. Feed for animals across the globe. Fuel for automobiles. Or as an ingredient in more than 3,500 products, ranging from carpet to books to aspirin! Corn starch is a key ingredient in products such as candles, fireworks, detergent, biodegradable plastic....the list goes on.
Today farmers grow 5 times more corn than they did in 1930 on 20% less land and corn is good for the environment as it returns 4,000 gallons of water daily to the natural water cycle through the processes of evaporation (soil) and transpiration (plant). A 2008 Minnesota Department of Agriculture study found that total economic impact from corn and ethanol production was estimated at $12.06 billion, with an employment impact of 70,225 jobs.
So, yes, an ear of sweet corn or freshly popped popcorn definitely fits in the food category but let’s not forget that corn is not just for dinner anymore.
Crow Wing County Farm Bureau President