Corn: More American Than Apple Pie

Lindsay Croke

Jul 02, 2024  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  ICMB |  Public Outreach |  Additional Research

Every family has its holiday traditions and obviously for Americans, sweet corn is a Fourth of July staple.


Instacart released its report on July 4th staples that customers have been purchasing to prepare for the holiday and sweet corn made a big splash at the top with the biggest surge in purchases. Sweet corn* saw a staggering 380 percent increase in purchases compared to the overall yearly average, said the report.


graphic showing sales increases on July 4thAlso making the list from Illinois farms are baby back ribs with a 170 percent increase, bratwurst with a 152 percent increase, frozen beef burgers with a 140 percent increase, and beef patties with a 126 percent increase.


Family farmers are bringing more to the table than just the food for Independence Day; corn starch from the field corn in our fields is the ingredient that makes our fireworks burn evenly and at the right time, as well as making the fireworks burn brighter. Our IL Corn quick math shows that 350 bushels of corn, made into corn starch, are in the fireworks displays that will be a feature of so many Fourth of July celebrations across Illinois.


It’s likely that the plastic cups and straws in the picnic basket are made from corn too. Many companies are making the switch from petroleum-based plastics to corn-based plastics to lower their environmental footprint.


Corn-based fuel can empower a climate-friendly impact too! Ethanol has 40-45 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum fuels and 98 percent of the fuel sold in America today contains at least 10 percent ethanol. You’ve already helped save the planet as you drove to the fireworks display this season!


It’s true. Every family has its holiday traditions, just like the corn growing in Illinois fields is an American tradition. From its cultivation by the native Americans to the food, fuel, and fireworks we’ll enjoy this week, corn is all-American.


*Sweet corn and field corn are two different varieties of corn grown on Illinois family farms. Sweet corn (veggie corn) makes up less than 1 percent of the corn grown in Illinois, while field corn (grain corn) makes up the remaining 99 percent.