Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • Keep eyeout for kids With most local schools welcoming students in a couple of weeks — and Kokomo schools beginning class Aug. 5 (yes, a week from this coming Tuesday) — it’s important for motorists to think about safe driving as children travel to and from school.Law en

    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 23, 2014

  • LETTERS: Let's hope 7th Circuit sides with couples Let’s hope 7th Circuit sides with couplesIf you blinked over the past month, you probably missed some news about marriage equality in Indiana.First, a federal court ruled that the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples was unconstitutional, whi

    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

  • House of Burgess: Bush? Clinton? Next, please Here comes a sentence I don’t usually find myself typing: I agree with Barbara Bush on something.Jan. 20, C-SPAN aired her installment in the series “First Ladies: Influence and Image,” which was filmed at Bush’s Houston home.“Do you think there is r

    July 23, 2014

  • State aims at outbreaks More than 200 Western School Corp. students were vaccinated for chickenpox after an outbreak in March 2012.The virus was confirmed to have infected five fifth-graders, the Howard County Health Department reported. It acted quickly to prevent the infe

    July 22, 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

  • LETTERS: Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA? Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA?Let’s see ... Mr. Don Villwock, Indiana Farm Bureau president, wants the FDA to define what genetically engineered foods are, and then he wants it to be optional or voluntary for food companies to tell consumers

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
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