Corn: The Local Seasonal Superfood

Nina Planck, food writer and entrepreneur, had this to say about corn in an interview with Time magazine: “Corn on the label usually signifies industrial food.”

Corn = industrial food?

Sad but true—at least when it comes to corn on a food label. Thanks to dextrose, maltodextrin, maltose, malititol, xylitol, polydextrose, and other adulterated forms of corn, corn is often seen as nothing more than the primary building block for highly processed, nutrient-light additives and sweetening agents. Americans in particular are regularly infused with corn from a wide variety of sources.

“So that’s us,” wrote Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “processed corn, walking.”

But here’s the thing we often forget about corn: it isn’t made in a lab.

Corn comes out of the ground, growing tall and sweet and filled with flavor and nutrients. Corn has gotten such a bad rap in recent years it’s easy to forget it’s not a processed food. 

MacLennan Corn

Looking for great corn? We have the usual advice: go local!

The Co-op’s Upper Valley-grown corn is a yearly member and shopper favorite. Our local corn is brought to us by Alex MacLennan, a conscientious grower whose family-owned, wholesale vegetable farm extends across a pristine stretch of rich Connecticut River Valley farmland in Windsor, Vermont.

Choosing Corn

When shopping for fresh corn, our experts recommend avoiding corn with dry, pale husks and silks that are excessively dry at the point where they enter the cob. If pricked, kernels should squirt a whitish juice.

Corn Nutrition

A fiber-rich ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple with less than a quarter the amount of sugar. Corn is magnesium-rich, with vitamin C, certain B vitamins, and potassium. Corn is also loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. 

Seasonal Corn Availability

We’re lucky to live in the Upper Valley, where MacLennan corn runs for a relatively brief but intense season from late summer into early fall. Our stores get deliveries daily. Enjoy it now while the season lasts! 

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Ken Davis

Ken Davis is the Co-op's senior copywriter. Email him at