Corn is one of the most common food staples in the world. You can go pretty much anywhere and find large fields of it growing. However, you never see corn growing in the wild, so this raises the question, is corn man-made?
If you have ever wondered about this, you are in the right place. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about corn, its origins, its evolution, and if it is artificial or not.
What is Corn?
Corn is a cereal grain that is native to North and South America. Corn plants are tall, with large leaves and stalks that can grow up to 10 feet tall. The kernels of corn are used in many different dishes, as well as for animal feed and fuel.
The Origins of Corn
Corn, or maize, was first domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. At first, corn was only a tiny part of their diet and was used more for ceremonial purposes than anything else.
However, over time, the native peoples of Mexico began to rely more and more on corn as a food source. They bred it and developed different varieties suited for climates and soil types.
By the time the Europeans arrived in Mexico in the 1500s, corn was a vital part of the diet of the indigenous peoples. The Spanish conquistadors were so impressed with corn that they took it back to Europe, where it quickly became popular.
Corn is now grown all over the world and is a staple food in many cultures. It makes tortillas, chips, bread, cereal, and even fuel.
So, if indigenous peoples in Mexico first domesticated corn, does that mean it is artificial?
Is Corn Man Made?
Corn, as we know it today, is man-made. It is so far removed from the original wild grasses that it is not considered natural anymore. Corn is far from the only manufactured vegetable. Both cauliflower and broccoli are also artificial.
Evolution of Corn
Corn was originally domesticated from a wild grass named teosinte. Traditional teosinte is native to Mexico and Central America and looks very different from corn.
It has small ears with only a few kernels, while corn has large ears with hundreds of kernels. The two plants also have different DNA.
Over time, through selective breeding, the indigenous peoples of Mexico turned teosinte into corn. This process took hundreds of years, if not thousands.
Today, there are over 500 different types of corn which are grown worldwide. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some people have even figured out how to use corn to make whiskey.
Genetically Modified Corn
Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding genetically modified corn. Genetically modified corn is corn that has been altered in a laboratory to make it resistant to herbicides and pests.
Some believe genetically modified corn is dangerous and should not be grown or eaten. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
In fact, many studies have shown that genetically modified corn is no different from regular corn and is perfectly safe for human consumption.
Many people don’t realize that humans have genetically modified corn for thousands of years. The selective breeding process used to change teosinte into the corn genetically we know today was a genetic modification.
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about corn: it is a manufactured vegetable first domesticated in Mexico thousands of years ago.
Today, it is a staple food in many cultures worldwide and is safe to eat. It is one of several artificial vegetables that people consume regularly.