It’s said that about 86% of US corn is genetically modified. At least there’s still some non-GMO corn left available. There’s also some news that demand for conventional corn seeds is rising. So hopefully in the near future there’ll be safer options for corn.
Corn is an excellent staple food. Just ask the Native Americans who have been consuming it as such since prehistoric times. It is also one of the more flexible grain crops, able to grow in most types of climate. This is why corn was so easily spread into other parts of the world by the European explorers who first encountered it in the Americas.
While conventional corn varieties are safer than those that have been genetically modified, there are still a few health risks that need to be considered. Continue reading and learn the pros and cons of non-GMO corn (and be sure to also check out recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice).
Non-GMO Corn Benefits:
Corn has nutrients that certain types of staple food grains like white rice and wheat lack. One of these is Vitamin A. In sweet yellow corn varieties, there are about 200 IU of this vitamin in a 100 gram serving. This mostly comes from beta-carotene, a phytonutrient and provitamin A compound that the body converts into the usable form of this vitamin such as retinal and retinoic acid.
Different varieties of corn actually highlight different types of antioxidant phytonutrients. As mentioned, yellow corn contains much carotenoids. Of particular abundance is lutein and zeaxanthin, 760 micrograms for every 100 grams. Although these substances aren’t converted into Vitamin A they do have more direct benefits to maintaining normal vision.
Blue and purple corn varieties meanwhile share a beneficial phytonutrient with berries called anthocyanin. This is the substance that gives the particular colors to the fruit and corn variety. Besides pigmentation, anthocyanins have been studied for their ability to scavenge free radicals and thus provide protection against oxidative stress.
While the more common yellow corn is not especially abundant in proteins when compared to other grains, blue corn can hold its own in terms of this nutrient. There are 20% more proteins in this variety and it presents a lower glycemic index. Blue corn has been suggested as another possible food option for dieters and those that need to carefully watch their blood sugar levels.
Non-GMO Corn Risks:
A variety that is not genetically modified does not necessarily mean that it has been produced through organic farming methods. Modern conventional farming practices still involve the use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers. Unless authentically certified organic, non-GMO corn can still have residues of this potentially harmful chemicals.
Corn isn’t on the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” list. It is in fact considered as one of the produce with the least amount of pesticides. You have to take note though that the USDA testing method (which is the basis for the EWG list) measures produce as it is typically prepared in the household. So corn, with the thick husk discarded, appears to have little pesticide residue.
Non-GMO Corn Practical Uses:
Corns can be soaked just like other grains. This is in fact traditional practice among Native Americans and other cultures that use corn as staple food. The advantage of preparing whole corn kernels in this manner is that it increases bioavailability of niacin or Vitamin B3.
The important component in this process is the lime water solution where the kernels will be soaked. Pickling lime (food grade saturated calcium hydroxide) can be used to make the solution. A suggested ratio for the solution is 4 tablespoons of lime for every liter of water. It is also recommended that you use untreated (no chlorine) water for this endeavor.
A minimum of 7 hours of soaking would do but traditionally the kernels are even cooked and steeped in the lime water solution. After the soak, the corn should be thoroughly washed and then dried. From there you can turn the kernels into flour with a coffee grinder and use the flour to make your own tortillas or tamales.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of canned legumes and why you should avoid them to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the grains and legumes on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Sprouted, Organic Quinoa, Amaranth Or Millet
• Sprouted Legumes (Beans & Lentils)
• Soaked Legumes (Beans & Lentils)
• Soaked, Organic Quinoa, Amaranth Or Millet
• Soaked & Sprouted Wheat Products
• GMO Corn
• Soy Nuts
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of non-GMO corn, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of non-GMO corn.