With a metal band and city in Oklahoma sharing the name, corn is more than a cheesy grain or source of movie snacks. Let’s shuck away at this husky crop for more intel.
1.North American settlers used corn as a form of currency.
Grain was so valuable, they bartered it for furs and meat. At 1,300 kernels per pound, feed bags were the original wallet. Croatia in Southeastern Europe took it a step further: their 1 lipa coin shows a maize stalk with two ripe ears.
2. Only one percent of all domestically grown corn is sweet.
The sweet variety is the only kind we eat and there will always be an even number of rows to perform your typewriting bit. The other 99% is known as field corn, used in creating thousands of items like ethanol, high fructose corn syrup, and even ink.
3. A bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soda.
In addition to soft drinks, corn syrup can be found in numerous foods from ice cream to whiskey. Native Americans, way ahead of the curve, used to treat sweet corn leaves like chewing gum.
4. Skiers use it to describe snow.
Corn snow is the repeating cycle of it melting during the day and refreezing in the evening. The resulting rough, granular consistency is ideal for shredding through a mountainside.
5. NASCAR drivers are known to race with it.
Ethanol is created from the starch inside a kernel. Its primary use was for industrial equipment, but is growing in popularity as a source of fuel. Race cars use a 15 percent ethanol blend.
6. Over 260 cornfield mazes exist.
In business since 1996, Utah-based The MAiZE Inc. matches points created on their computers with rows in a field (similar to a connect-the-dots game) to determine the pathways to cut out. To date, they've designed just under 3,000 paths to find your way out of.
7. “Hot Corn Girls” used to sell corn in the street.
Nineteenth century New Yorkers named these impoverished hawkers. They were the first of their kind, paving the way for today’s street vendors — dirty water hot dogs and all.
8. Archaeologists have been able to pop 1,000 year old kernels.
Well-preserved tombs along the coast of Peru confirmed that corn kernels have one heck of a shelf life. At 31 calories per cup of air-popped corn, we know what to stuff our faces with during the zombie apocalypse.