Beyond the Field

Inspection and Cleaning
Corn is Inspected and Cleaned.
Photo from The Corn Refiners Association
After corn is harvested it goes through a several steps before being fed to an animal or ending up in your box of corn flakes. Farmers typically bring a large portion of their harvest to the local Farmer's Exchange where the grain is either purchased immediately or stored. Farmers have the option to sell their grain when the trading price is right. Similar to the stock market , prices for commodities are always changing.

If it is not used directly as feed, corn is refined before it can be used in manufacturing. Some of the procedures in the refining process include inspection, cleaning, grinding, starch seperation, syrup conversion, and fermentation.

Click here for more information on The Corn Refining Process .

Corn that is used for flour goes to a mill. At the mill, the grit is removed from the corn. Corn mills sell the grits to companies that make cereal. A cornflake is a grit that has been flattened, sprayed with vitamins, and toasted.

The woman to the right is hand grinding corn. Today, our corn is processed in mills and refineries. Can you imagine what your life would be like if food in the grocery store wasn't already processed?

Grinding Corn
Hand-Grinding Corn

straw The movement of corn beyond the field employees many people. Think about the production related to a box of cereal. How many employees, including truck drivers, mills, packaging plants, and grocery store workers, do you think it takes to produce a box of cornflakes? List at least two people representing every subject area you study in school.

straw Having food at the dinner table has not always been so easy. Write a paragraph describing the life of the woman hand grinding the corn. Where do you think she lives? Do you think there are places in the world where people still hand grind their corn?


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