Cornbread Vindicated in Age-Old Outbreak

Intricate mythologies defamed cornbread during a 20th century pellagra outbreak down South that took 100,000 lives.
 
Southerners blamed the epidemic on bad corn cooking and the absence of previously enslaved cooks. Poor Southerners were eating up to 12 pounds of cornmeal weekly; the rich, 8-9.
 
Marked by dementia and death, pellagra was actually caused by niacin deficiency. The wealthy were protected by consuming meat and eggs, which, unlike corn, are rich in niacin. Eventually, the compound was added to commercial meals by law, banishing pellagra.
 
But corn still gets bad press as the source of another health villain: high fructose corn syrup.
 
Atlas Obscura

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