Maize ( /ˈmeɪz/ MAYZ; Zea mays L, from Spanish: maíz after Taíno mahiz), known in some English-speaking countries as corn, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a starch. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica, cooked, ground or processed through nixtamalization. Beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas. The region developed a trade network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries. Maize spread to the rest of the world because of its ability to grow in diverse climates. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed and as chemical feedstocks.

Maize is the most widely grown grain crop in the Americas, with 332 million metric tons grown annually in the United States alone. Approximately 40% of the crop — 130 million tons — is used for corn ethanol. Transgenic maize (genetically modified corn) made up 85% of the maize planted in the United States in 2009. While some natural strains of maize can grow 12 metres (39 ft) tall, most varieties commercially grown for grain have been bred for a standardized height of 2.5 metres (8.2 ft). Sweet corn is usually shorter than grain and silage corn varieties.

Read more about Maize:  Words For Maize, Structure and Physiology, Genetics, Breeding, Origin, Comparison To Other Staple Foods, Art

Other articles related to "maize":

Maize - Art
... Water tower in Rochester, Minnesota being painted as an ear of maize Maize has been an essential crop in the Andes since the pre-Columbian Era ... Maize represented anthropomorphically as well as naturally ... In the United States, maize ears along with tobacco leaves are carved into the capitals of columns in the U.S ...
Agriculture In Kenya - Genetically-altered Growing
... Many farmers in Kenya refer to genetically modified (GM) maize delivered by the US as the Trojan horse ... currently illegal in Kenya, although the US continues to send modified maize to Kenya in the form of aid ... Kenyans and other Africans, like Malawians and Zimbabweans, grind maize into flour before distributing it ...
San Andrés (Mesoamerican Site) - Evidence of Elite Feasting
... Maize and cacao were detected due to their distinctive biomarkers including C4 signature plant carbon for maize and nitrogen containing organic compounds for ... “Discoveries include patterns of maize use suggestive of its use as an elite feasting food and beverage rather than as a dietary staple ... Cocoa, maize-alcohol, and “elite-foods” gave these gatherings special significance and provides definite proof that there was an elite class in San Andres, and, by extension, La Venta ...
Bob Maize
... Bob Maize (January 15, 1945 – November 20, 2004) was an American jazz double-bassist ... Maize played piano from age seven and switched to bass at 13 ... After moving to San Francisco in 1963, Maize worked in the house bands of many jazz clubs in the city, including Soulville and Bop City ...
Chitemene - Ecological Issues
... traditional crop rotations to monoculture of maize continue to practice chitemene ... Unfortunately, the nutrient demands of maize tend to exhaust soils faster than traditional crops such as sorghum or millet, and the desire to sell maize as a commodity expedites the ...

Famous quotes containing the word maize:

    O Love, what hours were thine and mine,
    In lands of palm and southern pine;
    In lands of palm, of orange-blossom,
    Of olive, aloe, and maize and vine.
    Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)