Modern Marvels

Season 14 Episode 39

Corn

1
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 19, 2007 on The History Channel
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Why is corn the largest agricultural crop in the world? Corn has fed the masses from ancient times to this day. Corn is not only a vegetable and a cereal grain; it is a commodity as well.
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    • TRIVIA (4)

      • The small baby corn sometimes seen in Asian cuisine and salad bars is exactly what its name implies. "Baby corn" is picked days after pollination. If left on the stalk to grow, it would end up the same size as most sweet corn ears.

      • From 1977 to 2007 corn crop yields grew by almost 60%, from an average of 91 bushels an acre to 119 bushels per acre.

      • The oldest corn cob pipe manufacturer in the world is in Washington, Missouri. It grows specially hybridized corn developed specifically for its large cob, and produces over 5,000 pipes a day.

      • Ethanol manufacturers are required to "denature" their pure alcohol before it's shipped. The denaturant can be anything that renders it unfit for human consumption, including gasoline.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: We transform it into sugar, fuel, plastic and enough foodstuff to fill a supermarket. We grow it on the farm, in a lab or even underground. On the cob, in a can, in a sack or in a silo it's a worldwide goldrush. Now: Corn, on Modern Marvels.

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