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Observation from Randy Sparks

Then, if there’s any time left, please offer a guess about how Native Americans and primitive tribes of Mexico and Central and South America learned how to prepare corn to keep it from killing people.  Did you know that Gene Autry’s mother quite likely died from eating corn?  

When Columbus came to the New World, he was excited to take back with him a miracle food the natives called maize.  It grew rapidly and was wonderfully inexpensive, but Europeans and Asians who eagerly made use of this breakthrough food began to die-off, as in a plague.  So, why didn’t our so-called Indians and indigenous Mexicans suffer?  The answer was in preparation.  They had learned to make hominy, to free the trapped niacin by bathing the maize in lime water or an alkaline solution.  Did they have chemistry classes?  No, but someone obviously had solved the problem EARLY on.  Corn is, in effect, poisonous if it’s over-consumed, and when it’s all that poor people can afford, here comes pellagra.  I’ve learned there was an epidemic of sorts during the Great Depression, hence Gene’s mother’s death.  People without funds grew and ate corn.  It kept them alive for a while. 

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