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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Corn As a Food Source in the United States Part I. Historical and Current Perspectives

item Pollak, Linda
item White, Pamela - ISU

Submitted to: Cereal Foods World
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Corn originated in Mexico or Guatemala about 5000 B.C. After recognizing its potential for food, feed, and fuel, native peoples domesticated and improved it. Corn's extraordinary genetic flexibility and variability gave breeding an interactive quality for humans, leading to its rapid acceptance. Corn became not only a cuisine and a staple food for native Americans, but became part of their culture. Native Americans used corn for a wide variety of food products, which were adopted and adapted by the European settlers. Corn became the food staple of the English colonies, then became the food and farming staple that fueled western expansion. Its importance continues today, being the leading cereal of the U.S. Consumption is important not only through meat and dairy products, but processed corn is found in almost everything eaten.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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