Thursday, January 15, 2009
I was in a local store sometime in December, and picked up some dried strawberry corn ears. They are red and shaped sort of like strawberries, and were right next to the Indian corn. What exactly the heck is "Indian" corn, as opposed to sweet corn or field corn? I suppose that the tricolor ears of dried corn were all that the poor natives could grow, having no giant factory farms to do all of the work of sorting all of the colors out in each ear. (You may detect a small amount of facetiousness here) Hybrid corn is one thing, but to call a particular strain of mutt corn Indian corn is a bit misleading. All corn started out as Indian corn. Native American corn. Actually, and most probably South American Indian corn. There is evidence that corn was adapted to almost every environment on both Americas. There are heritage varieties that have more protein and less sugar than current corns, whose genetics are owned by Monsanto or ADM or some other world farming and seed conglomerate. These older and less manipulated corns may be better food stock than the newer ones, but aren't they grown commercially? Too much manual labor. Not easy to convert to harvest by machine. Too short. Not enough product per plant.