Glass Gem corn and its various properties
When a snapshot of the glistening cob of corn was released on multiple social media platforms in 2012, it quickly became an online sensation. The corn was described as “awesomely gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, translucent, and multicolored.” People were skeptical of its authenticity because of the unreal glittering kernels that glistened like rare pearls, and some said it was a photo-manipulated image.
Glass gem corn is a regular open-pollinated type that looks more like pieces of jewelry than actual corn and comes in a variety of hues including pink, purple, yellow, green, and blue tones, among others. It is not photoshopped or genetically changed, and it is not genetically modified. In North America, a type of maize known as “Indian” corn, sometimes known as “calico” corn, or “glass gem” corn, was produced.
It is a sort of multicolored flint corn (the kernel’s hard outer layer) that crosses between actual, contemporary popcorn and parching corn in flavor and appearance. Ears range in size from 3 to 8 inches in circumference.
Glass gem corn results from a collaboration between Carl Barnes, a half-Choctaw farmer living in Oklahoma, and several other people. He was born with an uncommon aptitude for corn breeding, and he committed his life to preserving the seed of traditional Native American maize varieties as a means of reconnecting with his ancestors.
Barnes replanted the seeds from the most vibrant cobs in his crops in order to expand the variety of his crop. Over the years, he has expanded the collection’s color palette and added more vibrant patterns. Unfortunately, these breathtakingly exquisite ears are far too precious to eat. Corn kernels can be ground into cornmeal, or they can be used to produce tortillas out of corn. Also useful for snacking, they can be ground into cornmeal and popped into popcorn to create a snack treat.
In reality, before human selection, nearly all corn ears were multi-colored in appearance. Furthermore, before 1950, the majority of maize farmed in the United States was open-pollinated.
Commercial corn nowadays is hybridized, which means it has been bred for flavor, color, and size. One science writer characterizes the process by which different hues evolved or were selected in the following way: “Yellow kernels are preferred by livestock feeders, whereas white kernels are preferred by Southerners, and blue kernels are preferred by Native Americans.
A long period of purposeful selection, careful pollination, and seed storage resulted in the production of these single-color corn ears. Colors, in general, aid a plant’s ability to attract or repel other species, as well as to hide from predators.
Colors can also occur as a result of biochemical reactions as an inherent element of the process. According to some research, corn pigments may help to increase resistance to insects or fungus that may infest an ear of corn.”