Corn Pone and Politics

Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch produced by grinding, washing, and drying the endosperm of the corn until it reaches that powdery state. Cornstarch is gluten-free. It is also a staple that has become a lightning rod in corn politics. The Washington Post reported back in 2011:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to shove more ethanol into your gas tank. Obama administration bureaucrats have signed off on a crony-capitalist scheme to boost the corn content of gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. This serves absolutely no purpose beyond enriching farm-state agribusiness giants. In fact, it may even result in the voiding of millions of new-car warranties.

Nice to know that the gift—which, according to legend, soon-to-be-subjugated Native Americans introduced to the early American settlers—has became such a pop-corn-troversy. But back in 1910, Duryeas’ Corn Starch spokesperson was not bedeviled by the political and business implications of the lovely little kernels. Hmmm hmmm hmmm.

For more Steven Heller, check out Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility—one of the many Heller titles available at