Organic Maize or corn is an extremely important food crop that is in high demand all over the world. A gradually increasing worldwide demand has led to several countries and organizations taking an active interest in the research and cultivation of new strains of organic corn.
History of Organic Maize
Organic Maize or corn is grown in rotation with other crops on land that have not been treated with chemicals for atleast three years. The United States has the largest internal production of maize followed by China. Over the last few years, production of maize varieties has increased substantially due to the increased interest in chemical free or organic farming. However, the actual quantity of organic corn yield per year depends on economic viability and market needs
Culinary Uses of Organic Maize
Organic Maize is used in the same recipes where ordinary maize is used. The kernels can be steamed, boiled or baked and eaten. The kernels can also be ground into flour or a coarse meal and is used in a variety of cultures. Corn on the cob, creamed corn soups, corn or maize puddings, corn mush, hominy and grits are all different dishes that are prepared with organic corn.
Organic Maize: Varieties
There are several local varieties of organic corn that are cultivated all over the world. A few of the more common hybrid varieties that are cultivated in the US are Prairie Hybrids 2431 (Prairie Hybrids, Deerfield, IL), Prairie Hybrids 3081, Prairie Hybrids 6221, Prairie Hybrids 7861, AMELIOR, Mas 26.K, Blue River 4771 (Blue River Hybrids, Kelley, IA), and the Blue River 67M07. However, other countries like the UK use varieties like Earlibelle, Earliking, First of All, Kelvedon Wonder, and Sundance. These UK varieties are commonly used for home cultivation and by small organic farmers to produce average sized yield of organic corn. Farmers can also choose different maize grains like popcorn which is sweeter than ordinary maize with a low starch content, dent corn which is corn that has a small dent on top of the maize grain, flint corn, pod corn and purple corn etc
Nutritive Value of Organic Maize
Organically grown maize is free of the chemicals and pesticides that are used in conventional farming. Apart from this, the grain is rich in a range of minerals like phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, potassium, vitamins and minerals. A single serving of the corn will have 360kJ of energy. The total carbohydrate value of the grain is 19 g, fat content is 1.18g and the protein content is 3.2g.