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[pct-l] Corn pasta

Recently I have noticed some posts regarding corn pasta, mostly to suggest
there will be plenty of it left behind in hiker boxes by thru-hikers who get
tired of it and won't eat it anymore.  There was also a question regarding
the nutritional value of corn pasta.  I would like to suggest that corn
pasta be just one item among a variety of foods in the hiker's pack, and the
reliance on any one food is narrow-minded.  How it is prepared will have a
lot to do with its appeal, just like any other food staple.

During my '95 section hike and thru-hike the following year I cooked corn
pasta often enough to get an idea of the good and the bad points of it.  I
also met other hikers who read Jardine's book and got the idea their ability
to get to Canada hinged totally to their intake of corn pasta.   After
eating it for 14 days straight, they predictably get tired of it and toss it
in the first hiker box they come across.  This typically starts around
Wrightwood or Agua Dulce.  Their obvious mistake was to eat the same thing
every day.  Even Ben & Jerry's ice cream will make you throw up if you eat
too much of it!  On any long distance hike, the variety of food keeps the
meals more interesting longer.  I found that corn pasta is great food if I
eat it every 3 days, or maybe every 2 days if I really need the nutritional
boost.  Further, I did not like corn pasta with a tomato sauce.  It was
better for me if it was covered with excessive amounts of cheese sauce, and
added garlic made it even better.  

As I made hiked further northward, and I started requiring more calories,
corn pasta became more appealing to me.  I even asked my resupply supporter
back home to send more of it to me along with a variety of sauce mixes.  My
fav was corn pasta alfredo, and I really looked forward to it!  As for the
nutritional benefits, I compared the stats with wheat pasta.  The difference
in calories, protein and carbohydrates was negligible.  My understanding is
that the body metabolizes corn faster than wheat.  So a meal of corn pasta
will provide the needed energy boost faster than with wheat pasta.  It was
my feeling that I felt somewhat better the day after a meal of corn pasta as
compared to wheat pasta, but it is not a miricle food.  I would never
suggest that a thru-hiker consume it daily even if he/she hates the taste.
It does not surprise me that corn pasta is found in hiker boxes.  Actually,
I left behind numerous other meals in hiker boxes, and one hiker really
enjoyed them!  Sorry, nobody got any of my corn pasta!

Roger Carpenter

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