Last updateFri, 17 Oct 2014 1pm

Corn relaxes you (booze, mattresses), fixes you up (antibiotics, pharmaceuticals) & transports you (rubber tires, ethanol)

“Why all this commotion about corn?” a friend asked earlier this week. “It’s just a commonplace kind of farming isn’t it?”

Not really. The life of modern man is touched hundreds of times a day and vitally shaped by corn and its derivatives. Whenever we read a magazine, walk on a rug, sink into a mattress, mail a letter, enjoy a steak, a pork chop or fried chicken, drink a beer, a soft drink or whiskey, eat bread or candy, light a match or take an aspirin, we rely on corn products.

In Mexico maiz — corn — has long been worshiped as a god. The shape and patterns of corn kernels traditionally were used in architecture, sculpture, ceramics, sacred implements and domestic decoration.

This influence continues as a fervent undercurrent of Mexican rural life. And though urban Mexico may no longer worship corn as a god, or accurately fathom its significance (though many of this nation’s holidays are modified corn festivals), the influence of the grain on the life of man everywhere is more pervasive than the average person is able to calculate.

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