Corn: Vegetable or Grain?

Monday, June 29, 2009

You know, almost any time you are on a restricted diet you are told to avoid starchy vegetables, with corn being on the top of the list. Now, this is no problem for me because I am, in general, sick to death of corn.

You may recall corn is one of the two vegetables Mr. Jelly Belly will eat – and only from a can. Every week I have to buy 3 cans of corn and 3 cans of peas (no vegetables on pizza night) and hope that I bought the right configuration to go with whatever meat he is eating. Because specific meats require a specific vegetable. I cannot serve him corn with pork. Pork is a pea entrĂ©e. So, yeah. Sick to death of corn and I’ll bet it’s been over a year since I ate a pea.

However, corn on the cob is an entirely different story. Oh, how I love corn on the cob. Boiled, steamed, roasted, or grilled…doesn’t matter. I’ll eat it however it’s prepared. Just pass the butter, salt and dental floss and leave me be. Well, okay, swap out that butter for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray. That works, too.

But I always feel guilty when I eat corn on the cob because of that whole high starch thing. Then I started to think about it and wondered why the heck it’s considered to be such a bad thing to eat. It’s a natural food, right? It’s a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamins B1 and B5. It’s also got about 177 calories, 5 grams of protein and about 32 net grams of carbs. (Those figures are for one cup of corn; I don’t think a standard ear has much more than that.)

It’s those 32 grams of carbs that scare everyone, I think. Yet whole grains, like brown rice, or whole wheat pasta, are always on the approved list (in moderation, of course) but are almost identical in carb content. And corn meal, or polenta, is considered a whole grain. As is popcorn. So why do we still consider corn itself a vegetable?

I have just moved corn over to the grains category on my eating list. If I’m going to eat corn on the cob, I just won’t have another grain with it. Or potatoes. Although I love a baked potato with corn on the cob. Or fried potatoes, even. Or scalloped. Oh, crap…I’d better get off this potato subject.

So just in time for corn on the cob season, I am tossing the guilt and planning to enjoy eating lots of corn this summer. In place of my brown rice. And I really don’t see a problem with that.

14 comments:

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Oh, I love cornon the cob, roasted on the bbq...

Ree said...

Dude. I have 11 rows (20 feet each) of corn growing in my back yard. I'm going to follow your "grain" theory. ;-)

Kathie @ my net finds said...

I know what you mean. I always read eat veggies, but not corn. Corn is one of the very few veggies I actually like, so I eat it anyway. I figure it's still better than say oh, ice cream or cake or something else I might eat!

Midwest Mommy said...

You bring up some very interesting points!

Laura said...

sounds good to me-I have a friend who's husband won't eat any other 'vegetable' than canned corn

Housewife Savant said...

Yesterday my doctor offered to remove Old Lady Gall Bladder.
Right in her office.
I figure she could do it with her bare hands. Just gimme four ounces of pork, a boiled egg, or a slice of cheese. Pretty soon Old Lady Gall Bladder is the size of a newborn baby and feels like it's ready to burst through my ribcage.

It's recommended I break up with Dr. Atkins.

Since I've been [ch]eating DELICIOUS corn on the cob anyway, I have something to soothe my broken heart.

And the gall bladder's staying until summer's over or it ruptures (Can it rupture?), whichever comes first.

Tammy Howard said...

I, too, love corn on the cob, but could really take it or leave it canned. (I'll leave the peas every time) I figure, even if it's 'bad' (man, I hate referring to a food as good or bad - it's food - meh)it's only available for a limited time. I mean - the GOOD stuff is only available for a limited time.

Roasted corn on the cob...mmmmmmm

Oz Girl said...

I LOVE corn on the cob. We bought some ears at the local groc store a few weeks ago (the groc store that has the BEST produce, unlike a certain discount store that will remain un-named...). O.M.G. We were both blown out of the water at how deelish this corn was. I mean, groc store corn is usually ok. But this was comparable to the fresh corn I bought at a farm in Ohio in the past. We'll be buying more this week since family is coming to visit this weekend -- I'm crossing my fingers it's just as good as that first batch!!

Patty said...

Wow, you are a friggin' genius! That makes perfect sense to me. I am going back to the store today to pick up some corn on the cob that I passed up yesterday. And look, corn is on the world's healthiest food's list, and is even the food of the week:
http://www.whfoods.org/

My husband is going to be so happy! :-)

Cyndi said...

Have you ever cooked corn on the cob in the microwave? You just put it in there with husks and silks still on and microwave for a couple minutes. It is so tender and juicy, and the silks & husks peel off easily.

kristisummer said...

I love corn on the cob..but we habe not purchased any this year. Must buy some. I prefer it boiled then on the grill.

Debbie said...

Anything that good, has to be good for us! That is my theory and I'm sticking with it.

VRaz60 said...

Cannot live in the Midwest and not eat corn on the cob!! I'm gonna agree with Debbie on this one..if it tastes so good, how can it possibly be bad for us? I'll blow a few extra calories for a good cob 'o corn any day.

I prefer snap peas or sugar sweet peas to the regular, but won't eat canned at all.

My husband used to have such dietary requirements, too. Recently he has become more tolerant of "wierd" veggies such as squash and sweet potatoes.

Michelle said...

I finialy figured out the perfect corn on the grill - dotted with butter, sprinkled with salt and double wrapped in foil. 20 min, turning once. YUM!