ENJOYING THE OTHER CORN CROP

Tricia Braid

Jul, 14, 2014  |  Today's News

Many people are understandably unaware that field corn isn’t the corn they treat as a vegetable on their dinner plate. In fact, sweet corn (veggie corn) makes up less than 1 percent of our state’s corn acreage. But instead of getting discouraged when people make an error regarding the type of corn you grow, take it as an opportunity for a conversation, like we do in the Illinois corn checkoff supported Illinois Farm Families.

ENJOYING SWEET CORN GROWN A BETTER WAY originally posted at http://monsantoblog.com/2014/07/14/enjoying-sweet-corn-grown-a-better-way/

Summer is in full swing – the kids are off school and days slowly fade into warm nights. One of our favorite tell-tale signs of summer is fresh sweet corn. Whether you’re enjoying summer picnics, barbecues or just a quiet dinner at home, sweet corn is a tasty and healthy addition to any meal. It has fiber and antioxidants that studies suggest may help reduce the risk of cancer, signs of aging and inflammation.

Not all corn can be enjoyed right off the cob like sweet corn. In fact, 99 percent of corn grown in the United States is field corn – not the type you’d like to eat fresh off the cob. Field corn is primarily used for livestock feed, ethanol production, manufactured goods and occasionally corn starch and oil. The difference between sweet corn and field corn lies with the plants’ conversion of sugar to starch. Sweet corn is harvested earlier – while the kernels are moist and sugary – and is considered a vegetable instead of a grain.

As you likely know, sweet corn is part of the Monsanto Vegetable Seeds product line up, and one of our employees’ favorites, too. Our genetically modified (GM) sweet corn helps farmers produce a crop that doesn’t need as many insecticide applications as traditional varieties. It has a built-in, naturally occurring Bt protein that acts as a protectant against damaging insects.

Our sweet corn has helped farmers reduce insecticide applications by as much as 85 percent. That means farmers use less fuel and energy by taking fewer tractor trips across their fields. It also helps farmers produce sweet corn in areas where insects previously made it impractical.

So next time you visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store, be sure to pick up some sweet corn. You can enjoy it in so many different ways: plain on the cob, in a soup or casserole, or mixed into a zesty salsa. If you’re looking for new ways to try classic sweet corn, consider making one of these Monsanto employee recipes: