It’s Corn…but It’s NOT Food

Before I moved to Pennsylvania, I had never seen corn grown and harvested in the manner that it’s done here.  That is, I’d never seen corn grown as a source of animal fodder and fuel.

In late September and through most of October, I am impatient for this corn to be harvested.  In its brown and shriveled state, it’s unattractive.  When I’m riding my bicycle along country roads, I  feel as if I’m riding through a corn tunnel because the towering stalks block my view of everything else.  And when the wind blows, the corn rustles.  It’s kind of creepy and sets my nerves on edge.

I’m not a lover of winter because the cold is hard on someone who wants to cycle all year, but I look forward to the harvest season when all of the corn is mowed down.  Some of it is stored in silos, some in big round bales, and some in a compacted form called silage (I think).  And presumably, much of it is shipped off for processing as biofuel, corn syrup, and a myriad other forms of corn-ness.

I am also relieved to see the corn disappear because it niggles at me that there are miles and miles and acres and acres of it, not only here in Pennsylvania, but also in many other states in this country, none of it the stuff that you steam, slather butter on and sink your teeth into…with joy…with memories of having done this very same thing every summer of your life.  It’s not that kind of corn at all.

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