Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

September 8, 2013

ED VASICEK: American corn: Grain, fruit and carbohydrate

Classification depends a bit upon its usage

We are near-ing the time of year when we celebrate the harvest. Many of us will make a trek to the orchard to stock up on apples. Others of us are enjoying the final ears of corn, while yet others are trying to give away tomatoes, zucchini and peppers.

I am grateful for those tomatoes, zucchini and sweet peppers. Between various soil wilts, powdery mildew and ravenous insects, my garden produced next to nothing. Next year, it is going to be resistant varieties only!

My crop failure reminded me to appreciate America’s farmers. If we depended upon our own ability to garden, folks like me would be an endangered species!

I probably did not tend my garden well because this summer was a busy one for us. We were so busy, at times we ate TV dinners. This is something Vasiceks do not do; I have only had a handful of them over the last 35 years or so. My, how they have shrunk! I also was disappointed by their lack of balance. Some of them, for example, featured potatoes for a carb and corn for a vegetable. Although corn is technically a fruit, it is nutritionally considered a starchy vegetable, like potatoes. I was double-carbed.

Don’t get me wrong; I love corn. Both our son and daughter were in Kokomo this summer, and they longed for Indiana corn; we made many trips to the corn stand.

The word “corn” was originally an old English term meaning “grain” or “a head of grain.” Common corns were wheat, barley and rice. Maize is one particular “corn,” and Americans began interchanging these terms until finally “maize” became “corn,” and other grains were no longer “corn.” The rest of the world calls corn “maize.”

Why did I say corn is a fruit? The confusion between fruit, vegetables and grain is perennial. The reason for this is simple: The world of science and the world of culinary nutrition are two distinct worlds. Thus corn is nutritionally a starchy vegetable and should be considered a carbohydrate, but scientifically, it is a fruit. To make matters more complex, if the kernels are dried, corn becomes a grain (still a carbohydrate). Immature baby corn is consumed cob and all, and is considered a high-fiber vegetable.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller