Corn is by far the most versatile crop that is produced in the world. Its obvious use is food and food products such as cereal. Corn also is used in food products ranging from ice cream, yogurt and even as a binder in energy bars. Approximately 130,000 metric tons of corn is exported annually to provide nourishment for the worlds starving population. However, it doesn’t stop there.
When it comes to non-food products, its use is even more versatile and is used in countless different products. What is astonishing is that corn is also now being used to make those plastic containers that hold our tomatoes and other fresh items to supermarkets, the cups we use to drink from and even as a fiber that is soft enough to be used in clothing. Milled corn is even used as a binder in polymer sinks and even rat pellets.
By using corn in plastics, we are effectively reducing pollution because of the fact that corn based plastic, unlike petroleum plastic actually breaks down because it is entirely biodegradable. When composted correctly, corn based plastics completely breakdown in as little as 80 days. The use to corn in plastics and other related substances such as glue, paper and many other products we have reduced the production of greenhouse gases by an amazing 65%.
It is encouraging that corn is now being targeted as a possible fuel source for our automobiles. We have even managed to effectively develop processing methods in order to use corn to replace fossil fuels in the form of ethanol. By using ethanol as a bio-fuel has reduced tail pipe production of carbon monoxide by approximately 35%, with this reduction rate increasing with further research.
It has the added advantage that this source is renewable every year and is produced within a crop cycle of 180 days. With the development of non-genetically engineered hybrids, the yield of corn crops has been increased from 66 bushels per acre to over 140 bushels per acres.
Given these facts it is easy to say that corn is truly the miracle crop of the modern world. Without corn, it is frightening to consider the consequences of our world without the miracle of corn. It may even save our earth and reverse the pollution and global warming trends that have been a major concern to environmentalists.
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