Thursday, September 3, 2009

Results of an unreplicated sweet corn experiment

(The scientific method can be applied to some things that are practical in everyday life.)

The other day I reported ("Corn and crust") that I bought six ears of sweet corn at Iron Kettle Farm, and we ate four of them.   They were great, and I can only assume that the two ears we did not eat would have been just as good.  A couple of days after that, I bought a dozen ears at the same farm, and fixed them for students that very night.  They were not nearly as good as the six I had purchased earlier. Tonight, five days after buying the first batch of great corn, I ate it for dinner.  The two ears I ate tonight were not as good as their siblings of five days ago, but they were definitely better than the second batch that was eaten the day I bought it.  Are you following this?  I just gave you the Introduction, Methods and Materials, and Results section of this scientific paper all in a few sentences.  Try to keep up, especially if you received a C in my Field Biology course years ago.

Conclusion and Discussion: that while eating corn as soon after picking is important to its taste, that is not as important as the exact stage the corn was in when it was picked.  Picking at the height of its sweetness is the main factor in quality.  I have no idea how to determine this perfect time for harvesting; perhaps, corn farmers can explain.  An alternative explanation is that the second batch of corn was NOT picked the day I bought it, although the sign at Iron Kettle said it was "picked this morning".  So there you go.  Use of the scientific method applied to something very practical.  Who said my education was esoteric, irrelevant, and nerdish? Oh, that would be my niece, Andrea.

Literature Cited:  none.

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