What is corn starch? Just pure starch extracted from corn? How is it extracted?
I know it's not paleo, but as far as including limited amounts as a source of carbohydrate, would it be any worse than white rice? Why or why not?
Corn starch is ground up corn.
Here's more than you ever wanted to know about how corn starch is made, courtesy of Wikipedia.
The corn is steeped for 30 to 48 hours, which ferments it slightly. The germ is separated from the endosperm and those two components are ground separately (still soaked). Next the starch is removed from each by washing. The starch is separated from the corn steep liquor, the cereal germ, the fibers and the corn gluten mostly in hydrocyclones and centrifuges, and then dried. (The residue from every stage is used in animal feed and to make corn oil or other applications.) This process is called wet milling. Finally the starch may be modified for specific purposes.
I've never heard of corn starch being used for anything other than a thickener for soups, sauces, and such but maybe some of the foodies here know better than I about such things.
For sure, white rice is the clear winner here :)
Corn starch is fine. The difference between white rice and corn starch is so little, they can both be considered pure starch. Virtually free of allergens, protein, and nutrition.
Supposing you wanna get down to dogma and see who's orthorexia is bigger, you'll gain INSIDIOUS weight and die from eating corn starch.
It's likely GMO, and who wants to support Monsanto if you can avoid it? I guess it depends on the white rice you're comparing it to, and who produces it.
For the purposes that cornstarch serves, both Potato starch and Tapioca starch/flour are my choices. You do have to adjust the amounts you use, if you're using them to thicken things. Here's a lot of info about the various starches, and how / when to use them. http://www.foodsubs.com/ThickenStarch.html
Mmmm, tapioca pudding. ;-) (Beats cornstarch pudding by miles!)
You CAN get non-GMO corn starch from health food stores and online. And, although they do not put it on their package..Bob's Red Mill products are purportedly non-GMO.
I use corn starch for gravies, soups etc. It only takes a small amount and does not upset my stomach.