Is Your Corn on the Cob Genetically Modified? …plus simple corn broth recipe

Last summer, I posted a recipe for simple summer scallops with a triple corn polenta.  It is hands down Darren’s favorite summer time meal.  Seriously, he’s been requesting this for dinner weekly since summer began.  (It is also one of only a handful of meals that are repeated both on my blog and in my cookbook.) Turning the corn cobs into a milky, flavorful broth is an easy way to enjoy the flavor of creamy, fresh polenta without any added cream.  It is also an all-around healthy, special, and simple dish our whole family really enjoys.

As anxious as I was to get this meal on the table, finding fresh organic corn became increasingly difficult this year.  I had a big bag of organic kernels in the freezer, but I really wanted the milky cob broth.  When we were finally able to get our hands on some, the polenta was so good that I made an extra batch of the corn broth for the freezer.  This way, we can use it in our favorite polenta recipes all winter long. (I also plan on using some of it to make a hearty corn chowder when cooler temperatures set in.)

As many of you know, I am super passionate about only consuming organic corn, soy, and canola products.  (This also includes animals that regularly consume them.)  That is because the risk of exposing myself and my family to the known toxins of the genetically modified version of these crops is too high.  Just yesterday, the Organic Consumer Association announced that Monsanto’s genetically engineered sweet corn, containing the Bt toxin and other neurotoxins may be coming soon to a produce aisle near you.

According to the OCA’s newsletter…

“Monsanto’s new sweet corn produces Bt toxin, a genetically modified version of an insecticide from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Until now, Monsanto’s Bt corn and cotton crops have mostly been used in animal feed and highly processed ingredients. Even with this limited exposure, Bt toxin has already been found in the blood of pregnant women and fetuses. No one knows what will happen to people who eat Monsanto’s new Bt sweet corn, but Bt crops have proven deadly for grazing animals from livestock to monarch butterflies.
Monsanto’s new sweet corn is also “RoundUp Ready,” meaning it can tolerate unlimited amounts of Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp. Roundup causes endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer, as well as birth defects. Many of these effects are found at very low doses, comparable to levels of pesticide residues found in food and the environment. Monsanto’s new sweet corn will have a lot more RoundUp on it than non-genetically engineered varieties.”

The worst part is the fact that, as of now, this corn will not be required to be labeled as genetically modified. As consumers, we will have no clue what type of corn we are buying.  Click here to join the OCA and tell Congress that we need better labeling and testing before these foods invade our markets!

Super Simple Corn Broth

Ingredients (makes 1-quart):
Corn cobs, 2, kernels trimmed and reserved for a future use
Filtered water, 1 quart

Instructions (20 minutes, 5 minutes active):
Cut cobs in half and place in a large pot with a tight fitting lid.  Add one quart of filtered water and cover.  Using high heat, bring water just to a boil.  Turn off heat and allow corn cob flavor to infuse water for 15 minutes (still covered).  Using tongs, remove corn cobs from broth.  You may now use this broth in place of water with your favorite polenta recipe.  

Notes: Recipe may be doubled or tripled to freeze.  I froze mine in 2 cup mason jars, being careful to leave about an inch at the top for expansion.  The kernels can be used to make a tasty succotash or frozen for the future.  This broth is naturally vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free.

By the way, the winner of the King Arthur Flour giveaway was Katherine Bontempo, aka @bontymama on Twitter!  Congratulations and thank you so much to all who entered!  (Winner generated by

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  1. I must say I never had corn broth before, never even heard of it. Gotta give this a try!

  2. Jocooks – I hadn't either until we moved back to Kansas. One of the farmers I got to know at the farmers market shared the idea! So thankful!

  3. Thanks for this post! EWG doesn't list corn on the dirty dozen list, so I will buy it when it's not organic, but this is something I've always questioned. I know that there is a TON of corn grown, mostly for cattle feed and I haven't seen anything from EWG about the fact that it's most likely genetically modified and therefore dangerous for that reason.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this idea. The other day I made corn chowder for my 9.5 month old son. I looked at the cobs and wondered if I could boil them for flavor. It seemed such as waste to throw them out. Well…thanks to you I know now I wasn't totally crazy. I'll also start to look for organic corn. Hopefully it won't be as difficult as it was to locate organic cherries.

  5. Hi! This is Holly. I met you through LA MILKs and got your cookbook before christmas last year. I use it so much it has a permanent place right next to my stove! You have changed the way I use spices ( I go through cumin like crazy now- yum!), our family has so many new staple recipes we love and my freezer is stocked to relieve stress on busy days like you suggest! Love your cookbook and love your work! Thanks!

  6. Hi Holly! Thank you so much for your amazing (!!!) comment! Of course I remember you! I am on my way to check out your blog as well! I'm working on “testimonials” for the next printing of my blog. Your comment will definitely be in the running! You are awesome!

  7. Mama Cham — You are so welcome! The EWG is an awesome resource. Unfortunately, we are coming into an era when there are even more toxins than pesticides to consider. Hopefully, we can reverse this dangerous trend!

  8. Anonymous — Yes, yes, yes!!! I made (a not fabulous) succotash with fresh corn tonight and ended up freezing the cobs for winter chowders. I was just too tired to do anything with them this evening. They are so milky and wonderful, I can't bear to toss them!

  9. Hi! You have a terrific blog and I admire what you are doing. We avoid anything but organic corn also. I do believe there is a small percentage of gm corn, other than than in processed food, already out there that consumers aren't aware of. Here's a link: – Hope you don't mind my sharing it!

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