When did corn become perfect?

I find it interesting that the folks who scream “science denier!” if you question government policy are the same people terrified of herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, city water with fluoride and chorine, robots and “GMO corn”. For a crash course in science ignorance, ask a GMO opponent if they think a steer fed GMO corn needs to be labeled as GMO beef, and then ask for an explanation. Of course their answer will be it doesn’t matter because they’re vegan.

It was expected behavior in the 1960s that when people went shopping for corn on the cob (only available during harvest season), buyers would pull back the husk on each ear to inspect it. I’m confident at least a few here still do 😉 The reason was there might be insect damage or part of the ear not pollinated or the corn was picked too early. These days, that is mostly a wasted effort. Every ear is fully developed with perfectly aligned rows and every kernel pollinated.

I just had 4 great ears of corn – of all places from Aldi for $1.29 for 4 ears. These are the ears that come in a tray wrapped in plastic with a portion of the husk removed. Probably, the container is filled with nitrogen to prevent oxidation. This corn allegedly was grown in North Carolina and had been in my refrigerator for two days. My expectations were quite low. My father had an opinion that the sign of great corn was it didn’t need butter.

This is prime corn picking season. What is your experience?

This entry was posted in Totally random stuff, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to When did corn become perfect?

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    The label on the package said it was packed by Virginia Produce. They offer repacking services


  2. Fred Stiening says:

    Here is part of the answer – Laura Ingraham has mentioned that part of her experience growing to adulthood was spending summers detasseling corn. The advances in corn are due to creation of hybrid corn. To get quality hybrid seeds, you have to combine two lines of DNA. In order to do this, you remove the tassels from the plants so they don’t self pollinate. The other genetic line is planted in a row next to it so hybrid seeds are produced from the detassled plants. Key to the quality is that no tassels remain on the hybrid seed producers. After the college kids cut the tassels, another person walked behind looking for plants that were missed.


    Today, there is a machine that does that


  3. Fred Stiening says:

    Although this is from New Zealand, hybrid corn is a global business


    The normal process for creating hybrids is one male corn row for each 4 female rows. The female rows are detassled, and once the pollination is complete, the male rows are pulled out. Their job is complete.

  4. WesternMA says:

    Thanks for the science lesson. I like here in corn country and never knew the genetics of corn. I’ve never bought corn in a grocery store because here in farm country, we have roadside stands where it’s picked in the morning and at the stands by noon. Your father’s theory of not needing butter is correct if the corn was picked that day.
    One of the varieties everyone waits for here is the fall white corn called Silver Queen. If you’ve never tried it, you’re really missing out on the best.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      The “down” side to hybrids is you have to buy the seed every year. If you let the corn go to seed and plant it the next spring and let the plant self-pollinate, all the recessive traits pop up and you won’t like the result. Hybrid seeds exist because they are so effective at creating robust, disease resistant plants. “Open” pollination (“heirloom”) seeds can be grown over and over, but can’t compete on the open market

Leave a Reply