The Paleo List Answers: Is Corn Paleo?
We’ve been excited to read your submissions to The Paleo List, and this is one of the questions that we get the most. We really value this feedback so we can add content you want to see. We’ve even had people contributing towrads the site, and it’s great to have people in the community add items they want to see on The Paleo List. Today, we have a guest post from Alisa at paleoinpdx. Enjoy!
Corn causes a lot of confusion. Due to the way corn is grown and marketed, it is one of those foods that’s difficult to categorize on it’s own. If you went by corn’s location in the grocery store, it seems like it is a vegetable (many people think it is). In reality, corn is a grain.
So…Is Corn Paleo?
If you haven’t figured it out already, corn is not Paleo in any way, shape or form. Grains and paleo do not mix. Even if corn were considered a vegetable, you’d still want to avoid it since up to 88 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered. GMO corn (and other GE crops) has been shown to be detrimental to our health and the environment. These are just a few reasons why GMO crops are continually being banned in countries around the globe.
Another issue with corn is that it’s derivatives are everywhere. It’s not always clear on product and food labels whether an ingredient comes from corn. Luckily paleo emphasizes pure, whole foods that often don’t come with a ingredient label (fresh produce and meats). Minimally processed foods can be fine, like coconut milk and tomato paste, but always be sure to check the labels to look for clear and simple ingredients. Take a look at this list of corn allergens and be wary when you see these on a label. Please know that not all the items on this list contain corn or are corn-derived, but the possibility exists. Sometimes it is due to cross-contamination.
Coincidentally, Mark Sisson recently wrote an article regarding corn tortillas and popcorn specifically. With these products, his verdict is the same: not primal/paleo. The point is that corn in any form – whether it’s fresh corn on the cob, polenta, corn oil or cornmeal – should be avoided. And do I even need to mention the detrimental effects of high fructose corn syrup?
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: