As we approach the first day of summer, June 11th marks the calendar to celebrate National Corn on the Cob Day each year. Fresh corn on the cob is a summertime treat people from all corners of the United States look forward to as we start the picnic season.
- In most countries corn is called maize.
- Maize is a native Taino word meaning “sacred mother,” or “giver of life.”
- Sweet corn leaves were used as chewing gum by Native Americans.
- Each cob of corn consists of usually 800 kernels that are arranged in 16 rows.
- The maximum size of kernels is about 1 inch.
- There are over 3,500 different uses for corn products.
- Corn can also be found in many non-food items such as fireworks, glue, paint, dyes, laundry detergent, soap, antibiotics, cosmetics, and in the production of plastics.
- Corn is also used to produce ethanol (ethyl alcohol), a first-generation liquid biofuel.
- In the days of the early North American settlers, corn was so valuable that it was used as money and traded meat and furs.
- Maize is believed to be a human invention, domesticated from a grass called teosinte about 7,000 years ago.
- It takes 91 gallons of water to produce one pound of corn.
- One acre of corn eliminates 8 tons of carbon dioxide from the air.
- Corn was first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago.