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Old 11-12-2007, 06:51 PM   #1
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Corn: Vegetable or Grain?

Ok, so I'm having a debate with my dad about this. Which of the 4 food groups does corn belong in..fruit/vegetables, or grain?

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Old 11-12-2007, 06:56 PM   #2
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It can be both, depending on the state it's in.

If it's on the ear, in a can or frozen, it's a vegetable.

If it's cornmeal, popcorn, dried corn, it's a grain.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:15 PM   #3
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Hi chave, Katie is right. There is more to it than that though. Some vegetables, notably potatoes and corn (and carrots) have a lot of sugar or starch in them and should be considered as a starch when you are planning your diet. Can I ask why you are interested in this? Are you on a particular diet or have a health concern?
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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Corn is a vegetable. Even though it looks like a grain.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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Hi chave, Katie is right. There is more to it than that though. Some vegetables, notably potatoes and corn (and carrots) have a lot of sugar or starch in them and should be considered as a starch when you are planning your diet. Can I ask why you are interested in this? Are you on a particular diet or have a health concern?
To be honest, I remember learning somewhere awhile ago that it was a grain, and when I tried telling my CIA grad/pro-chef father this, he told me I was wrong....so I thought I should clear it up
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:07 PM   #6
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You were wrong.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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You were wrong.
Well, according to Katie, it looks like we're both right, depending what state the corn is in.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:41 PM   #8
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edible seeds or roots or stems or leaves or bulbs or tubers or nonsweet fruits of any of numerous herbaceous plant
any of various herbaceous plants cultivated for an edible part such as the fruit or the root of the beet or the leaf of spinach or the seeds of bean plants or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower
of the nature of or characteristic of or derived from plants; "decaying vegetable matter"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
Vegetable is a culinary term. Its definition has no scientific value and is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. All parts of herbaceous plants eaten as food by humans, whole or in part, are generally considered vegetables. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:17 PM   #9
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Genetically speaking, the corn plant is a grass, which would make it a vegetable if you broke it down into animal/vegetable/mineral, but then, wheat, rice, flax, etc. are also grasses. Nutritionally speaking, corn, in any way, shape or form, is a carbohydrate, therefore it would have to be considered a grain.
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chave982 View Post
Well, according to Katie, it looks like we're both right, depending what state the corn is in.

Which is it in Massachusetts?
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:11 PM   #11
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Technically (taxonomy), what we call "corn" (Zea mays L.) is a grass - and grasses produce [cereal] grains. Refs: USDA, Wikipedia

How it is used, and where it falls on the food pyramid, depends on its state and how it is used. Remember - the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a fruit/berry technically, but an act of congress in 1893 declared it a vegetable so it could be taxed, and it shows up on the food pyramid as a vegetable, and that is how it is used. And, the eggplant (Solanum melongena), aka aubergine, is also technically a fruit/berry that is treated as a vegetable.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:31 PM   #12
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I've gotta agree with Micheal in FtW on this. Technically, ALL corn is a grain.

Personally, I've always thought of "sweet corn" as a vegetable. However, "popcorn", and anything derived from "field corn" a.k.a. "dent corn", like cornmeal, masa harina, hominy, etc., are a grain.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:07 PM   #13
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Respectfully Charlie, he is not wrong, you are in this case. There is no ONE answer here. You need to make the question more specific.

Corn as it grows is a vegetable, but where it fits in to our food intake it is considered a starch or grain. A diabetic cannot consume limitless quantities of corn without some pretty severe reactions on the blood sugar side of things.

Chave, you and your dad will have to call this one a tie I think. Explain what you have learned here about corn. If you need more information, Google Glycemic Index and see what pops up. That might be more helpful than all the stuff we've posted.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:01 PM   #14
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I took the question for the face value. What is corn? Not grain made out of corn, not pop corn, not cornmeal, plain old corn as you see it in the field.

But yes, of course you cane make corn into a flour too.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:06 PM   #15
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Understood Charlie, but telling the poster he is wrong is neither polite nor correct. There is a lot of information out there for the poster to look at and to share with his Dad.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:09 PM   #16
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Alix, when did you know me to be polite? .

But I never mean it in a bad spirit.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:10 PM   #17
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LMAO, I know that Charlie, but Chave might not have. You know we love you here.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:12 PM   #18
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Thanks, I love you guys too.


P.S. My wife have been trying to convert me into being more American like, i.e. being polite, for the last 17 + years. So I am really much better now, you should have seen me when I first came.
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:03 PM   #19
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We have always used it as a starch since it has so much sugar in it. Good thing because dh was diagnosed with diabetes and it is one of the foods that we limit. I've always wondered why meals would include mashed potatoes and then corn as the vegetable, but many people like that. We have one or the other and a green vegetable or salad.
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:21 PM   #20
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... I've always wondered why meals would include mashed potatoes and then corn as the vegetable, but many people like that. ....
And, you've answered one of your own questions ... "many people like that" - yep, a scoop of mashed taters, dip it in the corn, eat together - yummy! It's maybe a subconscious childhood "comfort food" from when we were sitting in our highchairs and our moms were trying to get us to eat up so they could?

The other answer is probably economics .... what could be cheaper than potatoes and corn? Now that the price of corn has doubled - maybe we can look forward to potatoes and green beans?
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