Silver Queen Corn
We’ve got golden corn aplenty so how about some silver corn? Silver Queen Corn to be exact, and just as so-called “golden” corn is actually a warm shade of yellow, Silver Queen Corn is a popular corn cultivar that’s white by nature. Unlike the precious metal it’s named for, however, Silver Queen Corn is a relative bargain – just as well, since those who try a cooked-up cob can rarely stop at one.
Oaxacan Green Dent Corn
The corn is green… and that has nothing to do with Wales and coal-mining. Oaxacan Green Dent corn is green as a Welsh valley though it’s actually an heirloom maize from – you guessed it – Mexico. This drought-resistant strain was traditionally grown by southern Mexico’s Zapotec people, who planted it with beans and squash. These days, Oaxacan Green Dent corn is commonly used for cornmeal or corn flour though some have said it makes great popcorn. Great green popcorn at that!
We’ve all heard horror stories about genetically modified corn but how does “genetically manipulated” corn sound? Moreover, how does it look? The answer to the second question is orange – very orange indeed. In early 2010, researchers at Purdue University identified and were able to manipulate a natural maize gene to increase levels of beta-carotene in corn kernels. When humans digest beta-carotene, they create Vitamin A – a critical nutrient that can help prevent blindness in children.
As many as a half-million children in the developing world are blinded by Vitamin A deficiency each year, and replacing the white and yellow corn grown in these regions with orange corn could significantly reduce this modern-day scourge. First world cob-nibblers could benefit as well: the same gene can be manipulated to produce zeaxanthin, a micronutrient vital for the prevention of macular degeneration. So what if orange corn looks weird… shouldn’t you be glad you can see it at all?