By Carly Scaduto
During a recent trip to the grocery store, I headed for the big bin of sweet corn right in front. It was crowded with customers just like me seeking the perfect ears of sweet corn. I think I have a leg up on the average consumer when it comes to picking the perfect ear of sweet corn because I have talked to several sweet corn farmers about what to look for. One of the first things I do is peel back the husk to make sure there aren’t any missing or damaged kernels. Damaged kernels at the tip of the ear mean something (a worm) has gotten to those kernels well before the ear of sweet corn has reached the grocery store.
There are many methods sweet corn farmers use to keep the worms away from the ears. Organic farmers spray a mix of proteins found in nature called Bt. Conventional farmers may spray insecticides to keep the worms away. The farmers found in these videos use biotech sweet corn that contains Bt proteins like those used by organic farmers to help keep the worms away. In fact, the Bt protein helps these farmers reduce their insecticide applications by up to 85 percent.
Regardless of what method was used to deliver worm-free, damage-free ears of sweet corn to me, everyone at my dinner table thoroughly enjoyed the perfect ears I picked out.