Corn is much more than a wonderful summer picnic food. Native Americans domesticated nine of the most important food crops in the world, including corn, called maize (zea mays), which now provides about 20 percent of human nutrition across the globe.
Abundance and importance, the biological origin of maize has been a long mystery. Corn does not grow in the wild anywhere in the world.
Process of domesticating maize changed it from its origins. The seeds of wild teosinte are encased in hard shells and arranged on a spike with five to seven rows that shatter when ripe to disperse its seed. Modern maize has hundreds of exposed kernels attached to a cob which is completely covered by husks and cannot reproduce on its own.
The combined detective work of geneticists and archeologist, have put forward two main theories about the rise of maize. The teosinte model argues that maize is a genetic mutation direct from teosinte in the lowlands of Guatemala. The hybrid origin states that maize originated in the Mexican highlands as a hybrid of diploid perennial teosinte and early stage domesticated maize.
Eventually, maize spread out from Mexico, may be by the diffusion of seeds along trade networks rather than migration of people. It was used in the southwestern United States by about 3200 years ago, and in eastern United States beginning about 2100 years ago.
The most impressive aspect of the maize story is what it tells us about the capabilities of agriculturalists 9,000 years ago. These people were living in small groups and shifting their settlements seasonally. They were able to transform a grass with many inconvenient, unwanted features into a high yielding, easily harvested food crop. The domestication process may have occurred in many stages over a considerable length of time as many different, independent characteristics of the plant were modified.
Research Source: About Archaeology
This beefy rice recipe is sure to please your taste buds. Rice dishes are easy to make and economical.
Copyrighted 2014, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.
1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 cup uncooked rice
1 (14.25oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15.25oz.) can corn, drained
Brown ground beef over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, add onions, stir and cook about 3 minutes.
Add beef broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in rice, reduce heat and cover. Cook about 17 minutes, until rice tender. Stir in diced tomatoes and corn, heat through. Serve and enjoy!