Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis smiling in front of a dense cornfield


A close-up of an unhusked ear of yellow corn

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.


View a timeline on the history of corn >>

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