Essay about The History of Corn

2144 Words 9 Pages
Prior to the European encounter with the “New World,” corn played a central role in both the lives and diets of Native Americans. Numerous religious rituals and beliefs revolved around corn. Still today, corn continues to be a constant presence in the lives and diets of all Americans. Corn touches us in ways we might not even realize. Most of us eat corn everyday whether we consume corn in its natural form or in meats, soft drinks, or sweets. From thousands of years ago to the present day, corn has sustained and continues to sustain human life.

Maize and corn can be used interchangeably. Maize was the term used by the Tainos who greeted Columbus in the Caribbean. Its literal meaning is “that which sustains life.” Maize soon
…show more content…
Sweet corn is pale yellow with milky kernels. This is the only type of corn that cannot be successfully dried. It is usually boiled or roasted and should be eaten immediately, as its sugar content decreases with age. It is grown for the table as well as for canning.

Corn was domesticated and first cultivated in the Central Valley of Mexico approximately six thousand years ago. Corn ultimately became the primary staple of people throughout Mesoamerica. Trading with other groups of indigenous peoples propelled the movement of the crop northward to what is known today as the United States. First there was movement to the American southwest then it proceeded to the eastern coastal region. Native Americans usually planted corn, beans, and squash together in the same field. This is a technique known as intercropping. The technique that Native Americans used was actually quite simple as well as returned nutrients to the soil. A hole was dug using a planting stick. Corn, bean, and squash seeds would then be dropped into the opening along with the head of a fish for fertilizer. The corn would be the first to begin to grow. The beans were the next. As they grew, they would twine around the corn stalk. As the squash grew, it provided shelter for the earth, which helped to keep moisture in the soil. These three crops planted together returned nitrogen to the soil, which maintained its quality. Eating corn, beans, and squash

More about Essay about The History of Corn

Open Document