Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

Corn: The Great Provider

“All around the happy village
Stood the maize-fields, green and shining,
Waved the green plumes of Mondamin,
Waved his soft and sunny tresses,
Filling all the land with plenty.”                                                                                                                    – Blessing the Cornfields, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Stalks of golden corn swaying gently in the wind, or a buttered cob on a plate on a hot summer day, may not seem to anyone anything of great significance. Just another vegetable. However, this impeccable earthly gift has more influence on human civilization than we – the common folk – can imagine. To start, corn is not a vegetable; corn is a true grass – a Poaceae. The stalks originated from Mexico and were once a short grass that held ears no bigger than our pinkies; however, through much genetic modification they have become the big juicy cobs they are today.

Our livestock – our bacon and ribs – would die off without corn. Our plastic, our oil, our antibiotics, our good ol’ Jack Daniel’s in our cupboards and so much more would cease to exist. Maize is so crucial to our existence that Controlled Pharming Ventures and the U.N. have an underground vault with various corn seeds to protect them in case of a catastrophic event – disease or nuclear war. So, next time you pass by some corn, thank it because it has been good to us. They truly are little miracles.


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