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The History of Corn

history of corn

The history of corn began about 6000 B.C. when the indigenous people of what is now Southern Mexico began to domesticate a wild form of Maize, called Teosinte. This ancestor of corn, now extinct, was small with ears containing only a few kernels spread far apart. Over thousands of years, Native Americans cultivated and selectively bread corn that had desirable attributes, like larger stalks, longer ears, and more numerous kernels. Eventually they came up with a crop that we would recognize as corn.

Corn became a staple food for Native Americans. It was considered one of the
"Three Sisters" in conjunction with beans and squash, that should always be planted together and never be separated. This ingenious way of planting complimentary crops in one mound
helped replenish the soil, and insured a proper balance of nutrition from a corn based diet (corn with beans form a complete protein).

Corn along with its "sisters" was likely what Native Americans shared with the Pilgrims that first Thanksgiving. Pilgrims eventually learned to grow corn. To this day about 40% of the world's corn is grown in America.

It is a common misconception that corn was grown by the ancient peoples of Europe and Africa, due in part to Biblical references to corn (especially in Egypt). The word corn, however, is an English word meaning "ears of growth", referring, usually, to Wheat or Barley and not actual Maize or Indian Corn. In fact, Europeans still refer to whatever grain is commonly grown in a certain province as corn, thus adding to the confusion. It is sufficient to say that Europe didn't discover corn until Columbus discovered America.

Corn History Video By Disney

Types of Corn

How to Grow Corn

Corn Nutrition

Corn Recipes

History of Corn




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