An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Zea mays L. | Maize | Corn: Its Science, Culture, and Cuisine

The National Agricultural Library hosted a three-part webinar series that will highlight global food staples and the intersections of global cuisines with USDA research, social sciences, and history. The series focused on maize and corn and its past, present, and future role in food, culture, and society. Key areas of focus for the series are sustainability, environmental justice, social justice, and nutrition security. 

Resources:   Recipes  

The events were live-streamed and captioned.


May 19, 2022. Zea mays L.: An Introduction to the History and Culture of Corn and Maize

11:00 am EDT

Explore the history of maize domestication, its origin, spread, diversification, and culture. Learn about current research efforts to address the challenges of climate change on maize and corn production. Gather insights from a seed preservationist who will share her Indigenous knowledge and describe the rematriation of seed sovereignty. Identify ways that Indigenous and Western knowledge systems can partner and benefit from each other.


Dolores Piperno, Ph.D.

Dr. Dolores Piperno is a Senior Scientist and Curator of South American Archeology Emerita, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama. Dr. Piperno’s research interests include archaeology and human ecology of the lowland American tropics. A current project investigates teosinte and maize growth and phenotypic plasticity in the conditions in which they were first collected and cultivated by human populations. More about Dr. Piperno.

Jim Holland, Ph.D.

Dr. Jim Holland is a Research Geneticist (Plants) with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Holland’s recent research topics include genomic selection, genetics of disease resistance, and genotype-environment interactions in maize. More about Dr. Holland.  

Electa Hare-RedCorn, MSW

Electa Hare-RedCorn is a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Ihanktonwan Dakota people. Since 2012, she has assisted the Pawnee Seed Preservation Society as a mentor for Pawnee women returning to agriculture and Traditional Agricultural Knowledge. She has worked for the Intertribal Agriculture Council since 2019, where she oversees Internship Programs in Natural Resources, supports Graduate Students in Food and Agriculture, and provides technical support for Native agriculture producers entering USDA and NRCS programs and services. More about Mrs. Electa Hare-RedCorn. 

July 26, 2022. A Taste for Maize: More than Popcorn & Corn on the Cob!

12:00 EDT

Celebrate the gastronomic experience and diverse cultural heritage of maize. Join our chefs as they conduct recipe demonstrations and share their culinary knowledge. 



Iris Veronica Jimenez

Ms. Iris Veronica Jimenez is a Chef and Culinary Director at La Casita Pupuseria. Iris is a first generation Salvadoran-American chef who co-founded La Casita Pupuseria, a fast casual restaurant in the Washington, DC area. Prior to becoming a chef, she studied communication at George Mason University and worked for several years as a general and marketing manager in the restaurant industry. More about Chef Jimenez.

Freddie Bitsoie

Mr. Freddie Bitsoie is a former executive chef of Mitsitam Native Foods Café, located inside Washington, DC’s Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. He is at the forefront of preparing, presenting, and educating about foods indigenous to the Americas. More about Chef Bitsoie

James "Jaycee" Couch

Mr. James "Jaycee" Couch is an executive chef at Restaurant Associates as well as the owner of Chef Jaycee LLC, providing private chef services in the Washington DC area. He takes pride in creating unique culinary experiences for all of his clients, from making customized menus, sourcing local ingredients, and watching his ideas come to life when preparing each dish. More about Chef Jaycee.

August 9, 2022. What Does the Future Hold for Corn and Maize?

1:00 EDT

Learn about the influence of corn and maize on public health and society. Hear perspectives on food security, environmental impact, community resilience, and a vision for the future.


Denisa Livingston, M.P.H.

 Ms. Denisa Livingston is a Community Health Advocate at Diné Community Advocacy Alliance. She is a food justice organizer who advocates for tribal communities by focusing on public health and foodways of Native people and promoting better health through indigenous foods. More about Ms. Livingston.

Psyche Williams-Forson, Ph.D.

Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson is a Professor and Chair in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park. Dr. Williams-Forson’s research is focused on the ways in which Black people engage their material worlds, especially with food and food cultures. Some of her recent projects focus on food shaming and race in America. Photo credit: © John T. Consoli/University of Maryland. More about Dr. Williams-Forson.