The next time you take a trip to the supermarket, look on the back of any food product you can find. You will see ingredients like “Sodium Starch Glycolate” or “Calcium Citrate.” Believe it or not, all of these bizarre sounding ingredients are created from corn. In fact, almost every ingredient you find on the back of boxes from the supermarket include corn, or some kind of corn extract, which makes an allergy to corn especially hard to live with.
But what about corn makes it so useful? What makes it so prolific in modern day products?
Well, the answer is surprisingly simple. Money. The corn crop is extremely cheap to grow. Due to advances in chemicals sprayed on crops, the amount of corn that can be grown per acre has gone from 20 bushels to 80. Because of this, corn is the crop that makes the most economic sense to grow.
Another major reason for the popularity of this remarkable crop is what can be extracted from it. Corn starch can be used in anything. It is because of this that corn starch is found in everything from toothpaste to makeup. Corn starch can be put to many uses, including being used as a thickening agent for syrup, or as an anti-stick agent for medical gloves.
But is the use of corn in almost everything we eat bad for us?
As mentioned before, this can be bad for people that are allergic to corn. However, corn allergies are relatively rare, and there are many websites and diets that help those who are allergic to corn. But is this huge daily intake of corn unhealthy for the average person? It is true that corn has quite a bit of nutritional value, but it is estimated that when it is processed corn loses approximately 90% of its nutritional value. So, can corn still be considered healthy after it loses so much of its nutrition?
The answer is up to the consumer. Although corn is in almost every consumable product, there are nutritional alternatives that do not include corn as ingredients.
Corn is a fascinating crop, and with more than 80 million acres of farmland dedicated to it, makes it the most planted one in the world. Whether you like it or not, corn is absolutely everywhere, and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.