Уровень сложности: средний
Corn is one of the important cereals in the world. You probably know it as a food you eat — cornflakes and popcorn.
But, because it contains starch and sugar, it is added to many other foods such as bread, cakes, sausages, ice-cream, margarine and so on. In one survey it was found that about a quarter of all the things on sale in a supermarket contains corn. And that’s not the end of the story. Corn is also used to feed animals and so, in an indirect way, provides us with meat. It is also used in manufacturing, where corn starch and sugar are used in paper, ink, soap, plastics and medicines — the list is almost endless.
Evidence has been found, in archeological sites under Mexico city, that corn was growing on the earth over 80,000. years ago. The firt sign of cultivated corn dates from about 7,000 years ago, as corn has been found in caves used by the native Americans. As with potatoes and tobacco, corn was introduced into Europe by the Spanish explorers.
There are many types of corn. The plants can grow up to 4,5 metres high, though one metre is more usual in the colder climates of many European countries. It grows best in countries with balanced climates with lots of sun and rain.
So next time you have a soft drink, wash your hands with soap or simply sit down to breakfast and open a packet of cornflakes, remember the fields of com throughout the world and what we would be missing without them.
corn — кукуруза (в Америке)
cereals — зерновые
starch — крахмал
survey — исследование
to feed — кормить
cave — пещера
explorer — исследователь
packet — пакет, пачка