I stopped by Sandy’s farm stand (behind the old Fjord Fisheries on River Road) to pick up the freshest corn in town and she thanked me for not shucking the corn as I grabbed it, and discarding half. People who do that, she told me, destroy its value – no one wants someone else’s reject – and it “breaks her heart” to see them at it. She doesn’t stop them because so many people do it but really, it’s totally unnecessary and wasteful (which means it costs all of us), so stop it.
When I used to grow my own corn and each ear was precious I never examined it in the field and threw any on the ground because it didn’t measure up. Since moving down from corn growing country and into the land of supermarkets I’ve watched in amazement as women spend fifteen minutes rooting through a pile of corn like porcine gourmets, peeling back each ear as though giving it a short arm inspection and then tossing it back on the pile. What the hell are you looking for, ladies? Worms? I’ve probably encountered a dozen, at most, in fifty years of eating corn. They stay at the tip so if you find one, whack off an inch of cob and boil away. Same thing if the very tip is missing a few rows of kernels – so what? snap it off or just ignore it – it tastes just as good and buying corn is transformed from a long ordeal to a simple task. You must have better things to do with your time, and the vendors will bless you for it.