Throughout my life I always had an idea that corn played a pretty large roll in our diets, but never gave the topic very much interest or investigation until this assignment. I found myself shocked by a lot of the information that I came across in the assigned reading, supermarkets, internet, and my own home. I immediately learned that I had many different misconceptions of both raw corn, and the foods that it is an ingredient of. This assignment had questions running through my mind regarding the healthiness of corn, the versatility of corn, and whether or not corn is even a vegetable. My investigation included a small notebook of mine, my kitchen and bathroom, two very well known supermarkets in Foods Co. and Smart & Final, and the world wide web.
Searching through my own home, I found plenty of items that I never would have guessed to have corn in them. I was not too surprised with anything that I found in my kitchen or inside my refrigerator, but in my restroom were things that definitely caught me off guard. Both my toothpaste and tooth brush contain some type of corn product. My toothpaste bottle/tube stressed that the sorbitol in their product was sourced through the hydrogenation of corn oil, and that if the user has any sensitivity to corn he or she should see a doctor before using. The bristles of my sister's tooth brush is filled with corn starch, for the purpose of creating a soft brushing experience for sensitive gums. Although both of those products surprised me greatly with their being made with corn, that was not my biggest shock. I found that even my deodorant was produced with corn-derived ingredients. I went on to read an article that says all natural deodorants are made with corn starch. The fact that corn is something that we use to both help restrain perspiration, and to generally keep a nice odor to ourselves really had me scratching my head. After explaining to my mother why I was wandering around the house gazing at random things and their ingredient labels, she pointed me in the direction of a few more corn involved products in her room. I soon discovered a few unexpected items such as hairspray, perfume, and nail polish remover. Never did I expect to see so many things that we use in our every day lives, outside of food products, to be created from, or influenced by corn-derived ingredients.
The next area of my corn investigation was Supermarkets; specifically Foods Co. and Smart & Final. There were a few things that shocked me greatly in these places, but not quite as much as the search through my own home. Walking through the isles of Foods Co. and Smart & Final, I found quite an unpredictable corn filled product in both Wonder Bread and Pepperidge Farm Bread. Turns out that both of these brands run high in fructose corn syrup, being each of their fourth ingredient. As well as most breads, probably the most well known brand of ketchup, Heinz, is high in both corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup. Apparently I grew up pretty naïve in believing that ketchup was made purely of tomatoes and possibly a little bit of salt. One thing that I found to be strange is that high fructose corn syrup is an ingredient in both protein/nutrition bars and candy bars. I was scratching my head for a good while trying to figure out if corn syrup was actually a healthy ingredient or an unhealthy one. Power Bars might have misunderstood the word “nutrition”, because the very famous Hershey Chocolate brand and Life Savers gummy candy are both very high on their amounts of corn syrup. The contrast of Power Bars claiming to be a healthy alternative to sugary snacks left me a bit confused. Overall I wasn't completely blown away by most items found in supermarkets that use different forms of corn in their production, but there were a few that definitely made me scratch my head and think for a second.
My investigation concluded after my venture to the supermarkets. Once I was home and...