Skip to main content

Crops - More than Food

Shopping CartIf you have traveled along a highway in much of the United States, you probably passed miles and miles of corn. Who eats all that corn? Or its neighboring acres of soybean? Cattle and other livestock eat lots of it in animal feed. But that’s not the whole story. Corn is a multi-tasker! It has many uses, which is true for soybean, sugarcane, cotton, and many of the world’s major crops. 

All crops—like all living things—are basically chemical factories. The carbohydrates in corn make them good fuel for cars as well as for us. The oils in soybean can be used to make inks and crayons as well as salad dressings. The fibers that surround cottonseeds can be spun into fabric, while the seeds themselves can be crushed into oil for frying or baking or processed into fuel.

Crops are definitely much more than food. You may be using one right now and not even know it.

View and download the related educator activity:

Chapter 2: Crops, Would You Invest?