History of Corn
Discovery of CornScientists believe corn or maize was initially discovered in ancient Mesoameria (modern-day Mexico). They believe it started from a small wild grass called teosinte which had small kernels that were not place close together on a cob, and with a hard outer shell.
Selective Breeding of CornWhen growing corn, the farmers noticed not all corn grew in the same. Some corn grew larger than others, some kernels were softer and more palatable than others, and some were easier to grind. The ancient Mexican farmers saved kernels from the plants with the desirable characteristics and used them for the next season’s harvest.
Characteristics of CornThere were initially 8 know varieties of corn. It was suggested that it tasted very dry. It originally had a tough outer skin that was very hard to peel. The only way to remover the outer layer was to hammer it repeatedly with a hard object.
Growth of CornAs the Mesoamerican people migrated into North America and south into Peru, they introduced corn into the new communities.
PopcornArchaeologists have discovered that people have known about popcorn for thousands. It was first discovered in Mexico. To create popcorn in ancient times they would first cut the corn off the cob and then dry it out, before placing it over a fire. The kernels would then pop.
Spread of Corn to EuropeDuring voyages of exploration of North America by European explorers, such as Christopher Columbus, corn seeds were collected from the local people in the various areas and took them back to Europe, to begin corn propagation.
Combine HarvesterThe first Combine Harvester was invented. This innovative piece of machinery is used to harvest corn by reaping, threshing and cleaning in one operational process.
Scientist Discover Corns OriginScientist George Beadle discovered that there was only about 5 genes different between teosinte and maize. It is believed that cross breading the two plants created corn.
Changes of CornSmall changes overtime have lead to many different varieties of corn including:
Types and amount of starch production
Ability to grow in different climates and types of soil
Length and number of kernel rows
Resistance to pests
Uses of Corn TodayNow corn is not just crushed and made into flour, it has a wider variety of uses. With its sweet taste and soft texture it is regularly eaten with dinner or even found at fairs sold on the cob.
FAST CornFunctional Analysis System for Traits (FAST) allows corn plants to grow to maturity in a fraction of the time, approximately two months, compared to more than 100 days in field conditions.
Modern-day CornCorn is now available in 5 colours, with over 200 varieties and grown in 69 countries.