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Kernels of Conflict: Farmers, Canners, and Environmental Knowledge in Maine’s Canned Sweet Corn Industry

Kernels of Conflict: Farmers, Canners, and Environmental Knowledge in Maine’s Canned Sweet Corn Industry

Cody P. Miller, Ph.D. Student, University of Maine

During the sweet corn season of 1915, the Maine Department of Agriculture had been “frequently reminded of the superiority of the Maine grown product.” This was evidenced “by letters received from manufacturers in other states asking how they might legally label their goods and still intimate to the consumer that their products were in some way identified with the state of Maine.” Since the 1860s, Maine had consistently ranked as one of the top five sweet corn packing states in the country, and remained so through the first half of the twentieth century. Grocers and wholesalers from California to Georgia lauded the superior quality of the Pine Tree State’s golden kernels. In 1878, Maine canned sweet corn had even established an international reputation by winning a gold medal in Paris. Read More.

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