MNCGA releases Top 10 ways corn contributes to Independence Day
The Fourth of July brings tradition -- celebrating our country's independence, spending time with family and friends, fireworks that light up the sky, the endless supply of hot dogs, chips, watermelon and, of course, Minnesota's staple: corn on the cob. In addition to being a summertime favorite, corn is also one of America's most versatile crops.
With over 4,200 different uses, corn is sure to join your Fourth of July celebration in an unexpected way. Here are the top ten Independence Day traditions and festivities that corn might pop into your life:
Whether you're traveling to your cabin or just across town, corn is likely on board in the form of ethanol. In the United States, most passenger cars use fuel that is ten percent ethanol, derived from corn.
2. Exploring the woods by ATV
ATVs provide great entertainment for many, whether it's trekking through the woods or offering you an adrenaline rush. But did you know the rubber tires on an ATV -- or any vehicle for that matter -- have traces of corn? In the production of tires, cornstarch is sprinkled on the molds before the rubber is poured, to prevent it from sticking to the molds.
3. Families Galore
Holidays often mean family time. Finding activities to occupy a wide range of ages is never an easy feat. But what kid doesn't love arts and crafts? Whether it's playing with chalk on the sidewalk or playing with crayons, children love creating. Both of these activities, along with many other arts and crafts, rely on cornstarch to bind colorful products together.
4. Pets Galore
The Fourth of July is most likely your pets' most dreaded holiday, as fireworks send booms through your house with each pop. But your dog or cat can take comfort in a tasty bowl of pet food, thanks to corn. Corn gluten is the core of many pet foods, offering a good source of fiber.
5. Party Cleanup
The downside of that big Fourth celebration has to be the inevitable cleanup. No need to worry. Paper plates, napkins and cups make easy cleanup. Paper products use raw cornstarch in the manufacturing process, making the lives of hosts and hostesses oh so much easier!
6. Aspirin Cures All
Has the heat gotten to you? Is your head pounding? Aspirin will help to ease your pains. Americans alone take 80 billion aspirin tablets per year to fight a host of health problems. The production of hard aspirin tablets requires only four ingredients, including cornstarch, yet another reason why corn really is a wonder crop.
7. Tasty Cocktails
Nothing cools you down on a hot July day better than a cold beer. Light beer uses cornstarch and corn syrups to make beer less filling and more thirst quenching.
Tasty snacks are mandatory when it comes to the Fourth. The ketchup, mustard and relish for your hot dogs and hamburgers all contain corn, not to mention the tortilla chips that you'll likely be crunching on. In fact, corn and tortilla chips make up 20 percent of all the snacks Americans consume.
9. S'more, Please
No Fourth of July is complete without having a campfire, and what's a campfire without some s'mores? Marshmallows stay fresh longer because corn syrup keeps them from drying out too quickly.
In celebration of Independence Day, starbursts of all colors flash in the night sky, but it's the components and chemistry behind these spectacular light flashes that make the fireworks explode. Dextrin, derived from corn, is essential in binding the color layers, and is what makes the transition of colors in the color flash happen, leaving onlookers captivated.