Have a Cornucopia of Corn This Summer!
Everyday, you could be eating corn and not even know it. Chances are, if you purchase a processed product from the market aisles, or even make a trip to the fast food joint, then you’re buying corn. I’m not just talking about the cereals or popcorn; anything from ketchup to soda to even fresh ground beef used to be corn at one point. How does corn appear in all of those products?
Corn is a highly subsidized crop in the U.S., meaning that corn farmers get government money for growing the crop. This keeps the prices low- low enough for large corporations to use corn in many of their products, making most of the corn to be used for processing, not for eating fresh. Corn sweeteners, like high fructose corn syrup, are used in many products, which many believe causes an unhealthy effect on consumers. Sodas, sweetened cereals, and even pasta sauces might contain this cheap sugar substitute. Since there is such an abundance of corn in this country, much of it is used to feed cattle and other livestock. Cows are by nature a grass-eating animal, but because of the cheap price of corn, cows are now mostly grain-fed. So, yes, even the meat you eat was corn at one point.
But the best way to enjoy corn is to know that you’re eating it so you can really enjoy it. It tastes good and is good for you, so just eat it! Corn is so versatile because it can either be eaten as a vegetable or like a grain.And, you can eat it at any time of day during any meal.
Try these for taste:
- Corn cereals
- Corn Salad
- Corn Tortilla Tacos
- Grilled corn
- Corn fritters
- Corn chowder
- Polenta-crust pizza
- Corn Bread
- Creamed corn
- Atole or champurrado
- Chicha and chicha morado
Despite all of the many ways to enjoy corn, one of the best ways is corn on the cob. It doesn’t get simpler than that. Sweet corn is a popular variety to enjoy because it tastes great by itself! Especially during the summer months, when corn is in season, you’ll find the cheapest and tastiest varieties. Throw a few ears on the grill and or boil in a pot, husks and all, after 15 minutes or so, you’ll have warm and juicy corn. The only processing you’ll need is to peel the husk. But if you do like a little bit of flavor, try light seasonings like little bit of salt and pepper, lime, or chili powder.
Corn isn’t just a tasty bite to eat because it’s quite healthy for you too. Corn contains antioxidants to help fight cancer and disease and it can help your heart stay healthy with folate. The healthiest way to enjoy it is to eat it fresh or quickly cooked, because after factory processing some vitamins and minerals get lost. And you can’t forget that corn is a whole grain, giving you a good dose of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates with every crunch.
Take advantage of this time of year and eat sweet, fresh corn as much as possible. Make it a point to bring corn to a picnic BBQ. Have a weekly grill night. Use leftovers in a salad or soup. Once you’ve had enough, keep some in the freezer to pop out for those cold fall nights when all you can do is reminisce about summer days and the juicy kernels of corn.
For more on corn, check out the documentary, King Corn.