I saw a recipe for a Summer Salad that said to sprinkle raw corn on top for a "crunch" effect - I've never eaten raw corn and was wondering if it was safe. I'm guessing hard to digest at the least....

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    Raw corn is delicious straight off the cob! That crunch from the corn your recipe mentions will come with a burst of sweetness that is superior to that of cooked corn. In my family, we call raw corn the "gateway vegetable" because it's usually the first one to be embraced by the kids, and it makes them curious about other ones.
    – Iuls
    Sep 2, 2010 at 12:49
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    Kids love corn and carrots because of their ludicrous sugar content. I wonder if you could get them to eat sugar beets. Sep 2, 2010 at 13:24
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    Fresh corn is delicious (and safe as any raw produce) as long as it's not #2 field corn. #2 field corn tastes like cardboard and is grown for animal feed and chemical products such as HFCS.
    – wdypdx22
    Sep 12, 2010 at 19:21
  • As a kid we used to eat corn straight out of the freezer on hot days, and I have always wondered whether that was good or not.
    – Manako
    Apr 11, 2011 at 19:28
  • When I first read the title of this question, I assumed you were talking about eating the raw ingredients to the corn-shaped candy that is popular in the US during Halloween!
    – ESultanik
    Apr 12, 2011 at 20:09

6 Answers 6


Unless you have an allergy to corn, raw corn is safe to eat; it might pass through you with vigor (especially if you don't chew it thoroughly before swallowing it), but it won't hurt you.

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    +1 .. and delicious too; even when I do cook corn, I cook it much less than most folks (except when roasting, then the attraction is the browned kernels). Sep 2, 2010 at 14:30
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    @Michael Roasted corn is love!
    – Iuls
    Sep 2, 2010 at 15:17
  • But... isn't corn super hard? I mean, hard like a brick? Or is that just how regular grocery corn is? May 14, 2012 at 11:27
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    @CamiloMartin, we're talking about sweet corn, which is eaten fresh. It's the only kind of corn I've ever seen in a grocery store. The other kind, which is used for cornmeal and animal feed, is usually left to dry on the stalk before harvesting, and is not sold in grocery stores. (Well, except as fall decorations or something.)
    – Marti
    Sep 12, 2013 at 15:18

I like tucking into a cob when I pick mine out of the garden. There is nothing better than a cob of silvequeen for a light snack when you are out in the garden picking veggies.


Yes! You can even eat feed corn (ie. the stuff grown to feed cattle), it is just more starchy than the 'sweet' corn we humans seem to prefer.


If your area has an issue with wild pigs or a large number of deer wandering through croplands and gardens, uncooked vegetables may be unsafe. Otherwise, it should be fine, and depending on the variety of sweet corn, downright delicious.


Corn is normally processed by soaking it in alkali-water, a process called Nixtamalization

The known benefits of this process are increased nutritional value and drastic reduction of mycotoxins if these are present.

I personally would discourage eating raw corn just to be safe. But there are currently no other known factors than the ones mentioned above.

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    To cite the article you linked: "Maize subjected to the nixtamalization process has several benefits over unprocessed grain for food preparation: it is more easily ground; its nutritional value is increased; flavor and aroma are improved; and mycotoxins are reduced." Nowhere does it say that it prevents something dangerous present in raw corn. Also, cooked corn is not nixtamalized, so if nixtamalization was a safety measure, cooked corn would be just as unsafe as raw.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 29, 2012 at 9:29
  • You're forgetting the mycotoxins.
    – Happy
    Jun 29, 2012 at 9:35
  • Today's food is regulated. Farmers can't sell corn which has an unsafe amount of mycotoxins. And I hope that people who eat corn from their own garden don't eat it if it is diseased. See www.ipic.iastate.edu/publications/IPIC12.pdf, although this concerns pig food, but I hope that human food is similarly regulated. Note that we are talking in parts per billion here. And cooking (as opposed to nixtamalization) doesn't affect eventually present mycotoxins, so this is no argument for raw corn vs. cooked corn.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 29, 2012 at 9:40
  • Well you got me there on mycotoxins I completely forgot about them being heat resistant xD
    – Happy
    Jun 29, 2012 at 10:16
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    What I'm trying to say is, people have been washing their hands with soap for thousands of years now (earliest recorded evidence 2800 BC) and we only know what germs are since 1675. Likewise people have been preparing corn for thousands of years in certain ways, and these traditions have been molded by natural selection and evolution.
    – Happy
    Jun 29, 2012 at 10:33

Of course it's safe to eat, in fact it tastes a whole lot better than cooked!!!


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