Why Corn Comes Out Whole

By | January 16, 2018

This is not a lighthearted question neither it is a nasty one. There is really something to be said about a corn in the bowl. It doesn’t matter how it is chewed, it always comes out in kernel.

The outer coating of corn
The most satisfactory explanation is that when the corn is chewed, the outer layer of the kernel only comes off. The outer layer which is yellow is made of cellulose which cannot be digested, hence it goes in and out of the digestive track intact.

Growth and digestion
Human digestive tract has scientifically not reached a point in growth where corn can be easily digested. Nearly thousands of years back, when cooking was not invented, vegetables were the main source of food. Therefore, daily fare of humans was mainly of raw vegetables and root crops. This continued for thousands of years, this was the reason that human digestive system could not stand less digestible food like animal meat.

During those times, the human digestive tract was longer and the appendix was bigger. When taking a close look at the mouth of the prehistoric men, their molar teeth were bigger and their incisors were comparatively smaller as compared to the humans of today. This is the beauty of evolution, the food today has become easier to eat very digestible than the food that was thousands of years back. For one reason, food is cooked and it is made edible and tender for the teeth and mouth. The jaws become smaller and the wisdom teeth appear to have shrunk deeper. Because there is not much use for them, it is also not bad without them. Some people don’t have even real teeth at all.

Appendix and digestion
During ancient times, prehistoric men used force in eating food. The plant cell and non-soluble fiber cannot be easily digested like the outer coating of corn. The starchy filling can be digested easily and then converted into cellulose by the enzymes in the mouth. However, it seems that the ability to break down cellulose has been disabled with the passage of time. Besides shrinking, it has been observed that the human appendix is not capable if breaking down carbohydrates as it used to.

The first stage of digestion: Chewing
Because of smaller teeth and jaw, the food is chewed really slowly for achieving complete digestion. This is where it gets tricky with corn. We don’t give importance to the corn bits and gulp up the kernels, this troubles the digestive track. Not enduring hard kernels, the digestive track has to strike it out with the outer slippery coating of the corn. The kernels in our stomach remain intact against the attack of acid, so they pass throughout all the way to the exit.

There is a remedy for this, while eating corn and every type of food, the digestive track is given a favor because of slow eating. Every single bit has to be chewed well. By doing this, hard and mouth enzymes act on the food. Then, the digestion starts in the mouth.

You might also want to learn why does a cat purr? and why does corn come out whole

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