Not all corn has the same nutritive value: different hues indicate different nutrient levels. For instance, yellow corn contains a wealth of nutrients including protein, fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium, selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Blue corn is even higher in protein, while being rich in the amino acid lysine and containing more iron than other varieties.

Today, agricultural scientists have genetically modified corn, along with soybeans and other crops. In 2003, U.S. farmers planted 167 million acres of genetically modified corn. According to Pacific Business News (9/7/04), in South Dakota 79% of all corn planted is now consists of genetically modified varieties. The genetically modified corn is resistant to herbicides and has been transformed into a high-sugar food for the making of high-fructose corn syrup, an ingredient in many processed foods which is suspected as a major contributing factor in the rise of obesity and diabetes. These new uses for corn represent dramatic shifts from its traditional forms.