Native Village 
Youth and Education News

November, 2012

Native American Corn Now Feeds the World
Condensed by Native Village

Corn is a grain --- well, actually it's a grass!

is found in more than 4,000 food items such as as bread, breakfast cereals, corn chips, corn syrup, soda, candy, and livestock food.

Did you know it's also used for ceramics, pharmaceutical drugs, paint, paper products, textiles, batteries and biodegradable packing peanuts?

Archaeo-botanists say corn pollen grains have been found in rocks below Mexico City. From there it is thought that corn seeds were transported into North and South America.

North Americans called it maize and cultivated it for various uses. Today, maize and corn are interchangeable words.

While t
here is no evidence of corn in the Old World, it was commonly found in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492.

Native Americans taught the pilgrims how to plant, cultivate and eat maize. The pilgrims referred to maize as "Indian corn," with Americans calling it corn ever since.

Columbus took corn seeds back to Spain. It had two distinct advantages over wheat: it grew in only three months and did not require oxen or plows to cultivate the soil.

The planting of corn in other areas spread quickly. In one generation, it had spread through southern Europe. Within two generations, it had spread around the world.

Corn is now grown in most mild and tropical regions. It needs suitable soil and at least 60 days of frost free or cold nights. It requires plenty of hot sun and ample soil moisture while maturing.

The United States is one of the leading producers of corn and corn products in the world today


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