I’m concluding there is no Rutgers study the states “According to a recent Rutgers University study, it now takes 19 ears of corn to equal the nutritional value of just one ear of corn grown in 1940.” Honestly, I hope I’m wrong, but it doesn’t look like it. After help from various people at Rutgers I was sent to Dr. Joseph Heckman part of the plant biology department. Dr. Heckman was a nice enough to send me various e-mails as well as return my phone calls.
It seems there is another often misquoted Rector study the Dr. Heckman felt may have been where this quote came from as well. If you’re interested, there’s actually an entire page on the Rutgers website devoted to the misquotes of this study. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s the study I’m looking for since it doesn’t pertain to corn.
Dr. Heckman continued to research the quote to no avail. His last e-mail to me said “I seriously doubt that there ever was any such Rutgers study. But if you find it, let me know.” I think at this point, I’ve spent enough time searching for a study that is been quoted currently 11,700 times according to a quick Google search, but is never been cited ( or at least that I can find).
Some may think me silly to have spent such a large amount of time looking for a study that I believed existed. It may not of been the best use of my time but it’s been an interesting lesson in information flow. Plus I’m glad I’m not another person repeating misquotes.
So I challenge all of us once again to check and make sure that we think for ourselves. Often, even those around us can get caught up in sensationalism.
And if anybody ever finds the study, please pass it my way.