“If you’re standing in a field in Iowa, there’s an immense amount of food being grown, none of it edible. The commodity corn, nobody can eat. It must be processed before we can eat it. It’s a raw material—it’s a feedstock for all these other processes. And the irony is that an Iowa farmer can no longer feed himself.”
—Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma
Corn is everywhere—in everything from apples to antifreeze, body lotion to batteries, margarine to magazines.
The story of corn’s ubiquity is a long one: a complex tale that begins more than 6,000 years ago in the dry valleys of Mesoamerica and continues on today in grocery store aisles—and the halls of Congress.
Grown on every continent except Antarctica, planted on 93 million acres of United States land, and finding its way into nearly everything on the dinner table, the humble corn plant may just be the most influential crop that society has ever seen.
Trace the a-maze-ing story of corn from its ancient kernel days to modern pesticide-resistant hybrids.|
View the corn timeline >>
Corn is everywhere, but not necessarily fueled by market demand. Farm subsidies have become big business.|
Read about corn and the Farm Bill >>
|In foods from ketchup to chips, high-fructose corn syrup has become the most valuable food product made from corn. |
Learn about the corn sweetener industry >>
Grain-fed cows. Factory-bred chickens. Corn is cheap feed for today’s livestock, but what's the impact on human health?|
Find out about cows and corn >>