Did You Know? How our Farmers Grow Organic Sweet Corn
Everybody loves corn, right? Especially organic sweet corn! But removing the husk, only to find an uninvited guest attached to your kernel is not ideal.
Organic corn from local farmers is without a doubt sweeter and tastier than conventionally grown supermarket corn, but every now and then you may find a stowaway when peeling back the husk.
All organic farmers must deal with insects and animals that attempt to eat their crops and have to find a sustainable way to protect them without using pesticides.
So what is this pesky insect of sweet corn and how do our suppliers deal with them?
This little pest is aptly named the “earworm”, probably because it nests in the ears of corn, although technically it’s a caterpillar – just to add some confusion - perhaps “earcaterpillar” was to wordy for a pest name?
The Organic Remedy
In a smaller crop, typically a nice diverse patch (including carrots and daisy type), super healthy soil and a good watering regime should prevent attacks. Our farmers also have a strong quality check and remove the top part of the corn, peel it back and double-check to ensure these earworms have not beaten the system.
Nothing goes to waste in an organic and biodynamic farm, as by removing the worms they can also be feed to the chickens.
When shopping for organic corn, try to peek under the silk to make sure there isn’t any earworm damage, but if you have a good supplier – you will see they’ve already checked as the ear will opened.
Salute the Kernel
Here’s a few ideas on how to bake or barbecue your husky tuxedos or wrap them in foil to infuse with your favourite spices:
- Soy and Shallot (100g organic butter, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 finely sliced shallot)
- Chili and Ginger ( 100g organic butter, 1 chili, 2cm knob of ginger, 1 tsp ground coriander)
- Lemon and garlic ( 100g organic butter, 1 tbsp lemon juice, handful parsley, 1 garlic clove)
Dr Mercola Explain the Health Benefits of Corn
“While corn does contain more sugar than other vegetables, compared with cereal grains like wheat, quinoa, and rice, the calorie count is lower. Corn is loaded with flavonoids (which, among other things, protect against lung and oral cancers), antioxidants (such as ß-carotenes), and lutein. Together, these compounds help maintain healthy mucus membranes, skin, and vision. Corn also is an excellent source of vitamin A, thiamin, and vitamin B6.
While it’s generally thought that heating food diminishes its nutrients, one study showed that cooking corn at 51 degrees C for 25 minutes actually increased its:
- antioxidant activity
- ferulic acid content by 550 percent (a phenomenal asset for something that snuffs out free radicals, protects the cells, the DNA, and combats diabetes)
- total phenolics (antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage to DNA, lipids, and proteins, and potentially prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease2)
Nowadays it’s important to learn if your favorite supermarket offerings of sweet corn are organic or grown from genetically engineered (GE) seeds. If possible, find out if farmers selling sweet corn at roadside stands or markets used herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals.
Studies Done on Corn
Obesity-linked diabetes and hypertension are highest when the diet includes high calorie foods like sugar, drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (which is highly concentrated and processed), and refined flour (especially when it’s genetically engineered). With this in mind, research using basic foods, including corn, in certain combinations to maximize the benefits of their enzymes and antioxidants was conducted to see if it might lower the incidences of these diseases, especially in indigenous North American communities. Scientists concluded that eating simple, plant-based foods may reduce the risk of both high blood sugar and hypertension.
Because Americans aren’t in the habit of eating a lot of fibre, eating about half what they should, one study conducted a 14-day trial involving test subjects eating an extra 12 grams of fibre a day. The scientists concluded that extra fibre in the diet – due to the fermentation process inside the body from corn specifically – might reduce the risk of colon cancer.”