One of my all time favorite stories from writer Garrison Keillor can be found in the introduction to “Leaving Home.” Keillor talks about growing up in a strict Christian home among the “Brethren,” and all the deprivations they had to suffer. But he speaks “cheekishly” about his family’s soft spot for sweet corn, saying that if the devil himself came to the door selling this garden delight, they’d at least have to invite him in for coffee and hear what he had to say. Or as Keillor is quoted as saying, “sex is good, but not as good a fresh sweet corn.” Few who have had it could disagree…sweet corn I mean. It is one of life’s treasures in summer.
Of course, as with all good things, science has to eventually tell us why it’s bad. That’s just what happened recently in an article I found on Slow Food USA’s website, but is actually from the NY Times. Turns out, it’s really a great article, Breeding the Nutrition Out of Food. The studies show how the industrialized food system has created wonderfully tasting fruits and veggies, with almost no concern for nutrient value. Getting our children to eat their greens today may be little better than having them eat a plate of sugar. The answer, heirloom varieties. Traditional varieties of fruits and vegetables, often hard to find in most grocery stores, can have 10 times or more nutrient value as our store-bought sources. At Sunbird Farms, we try our best to get those varieties that are listed on the Slow Food Ark of Taste. You can find them through Seed Savers Exchange, and many other traditional seed outlets. Once again, we encourage you to visit your local farmer’s market or the garden in your back yard. Take a minute to read this insightful article, and follow this link to find a farmer’s market near you… And don’t be afraid to buy some sweet corn, just look for the variety with rich yellow kernels, no matter how tempting that white devil may be!