Bi-Color Sweet Corn in Retail
May 16, 2017
As I hoped, another viewer was able to shed some light on the reason why bicolor sweetcorn dominates at retail outlets:
"We share the same frustration in only finding the bi-color corn. I have pressed this subject deeper with growers and was surprised as to their reason for not growing all yellow corn. If they are selling into a farmer's market or an urban market, consumers will not buy the all yellow because they do not know how to tell sweet corn from field corn, so they demand bi-color as insurance of getting sweet corn. I do not know if this suggests that they have been burned with field corn or not."
That's from Greg Marlay.This makes sense to me. I have had friends involved in farmer's markets who confessed there were occasional problems with exactly where the produce came from. Given the higher prices charged at such local food outlets, the temptation to pass off field corn as sweet corn could happen.
But that said, there could be another factor. Supersweet varieties contain 4 to 10 times the sugar in regular sweetcorn, which itself has considerably more sugar than field corn grown for feed or ethanol. Consumers who have been eating supersweet might bite into normal sweetcorn and mistake it for field corn - the sugar difference is that detectable.
There is a growing concern in nutrition science that our obsession with fats has overshadowed the powerful influence of sugars, especially added sugars. In a way, supersweet corn has added sugars, and has reset our expectation of what sweetcorn is supposed to taste like.
It's hard to fault consumers who want to ensure they get the product they are expecting, and choosing bicolor seems like a logical way to do it.
Finally, growing sweetcorn is not rocket surgery. The inability to find the kind you like could be just the reason to plant your own crop.