Corn as a traditional food
More to come here about the domestication of development of corn as a food crop in Mexico (from teosinte) and how important it is in the Americas as a straight-up food source.
Corn derivatives: non-traditional food
Corn syrup was invented around 1920 and its uses in foods and drinks took off from there. Dextrose, etc. as industrial food ingredients came later (more historical references to come).
Corn syrup backlash
Consumer complaints linking the consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to obesity have prompted a number of American food companies to use cane sugar instead of corn syrup in their products. Because the fuss is associated with HFCS (which is called “ glucose-fructose” on food labels in Canada, perhaps escaping some scrutiny here) While a few (mostly American) products proclaim their freedom from corn syrup on their labels — for instance, Jones Soda — these products don’t seem to have as much of a following in Canada as they do in the USA. I also doubt that companies have cut back on other corn derivatives in their products, for instance, corn starch. Anyway, at least more people are talking about corn in food. It is a lot easier to explain a corn allergy now than it was 5, 10, and especially 20 years ago.