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A Diabetic Friendly Snack

By Ellen Walsh

It's so common, you wonder why someone else didn't think of it first, but 4th generation Minnesota farmers, Gladys and Stan Friesen, took some ordinary field corn from their own 500 acre farm and, through an accident on the kitchen stove, found that they could half pop these corn kernels and turn them into an all natural, nutritious snack.

Click on images for enlarged caption image.

This isn't sweet corn or popcorn that Americans are used to, instead it's the corn used to feed livestock, and its got some unique nutritional advantages! Farmers in the mid west have been growing field corn for centuries. Its high content of carotene ( vitamin A) makes it a superior product, and their unique patented process leaves the entire outer hull (also known as paracarp) intact, where the majority of the highly nutritious fiber of the kernel is. The process they accidentally discovered kind of half pops it -- not too fluffy, but not hard like a corn nut. The only other ingredients in the Original flavor besides the corn are non-hydrogenated soybean oil and sea salt. That's it! Who would have thought that something SO simple could taste SO good!

Over-processed, traditional corn snacks have twice the sodium as GLAD CORN, and this nutritious snack has double the fiber, because nothing has been taken out of the corn. The fact that it doesn't digest fast because of the high fiber content, makes this nutrient dense snack terrific for Diabetics.

"Our background is in corn and soybeans," explains Stan. "We raised some hogs too, but quit in the early 80s to experiment with some other interests I had". It was then that Stan retrofitted a barn into an ethanol plant, and set to work in earnest to discover cheaper and more energy efficient methods to run his farm. So there he was, in Nov. of 1990, working on an ethanol recipe, when the corn exploded and leapt out of the pan and landed everywhere in the kitchen. Being the experimenter he is, Stan tasted the popped corn, and ran into their bedroom where Gladys was quietly reading a book. "Taste this!" Stan said with an excited tone to his voice. She did and promptly went to the kitchen to get some more! Little did they know what they were about to embark upon.

Two weeks later Stan and Gladys went to a Christmas party, and they brought a snack with them. It was their, as of yet, unnamed corn snack. As is often the case with the birth of new food products, their friends loved it, and encouraged them over and over to make it again. "It took me 11 hours to make 5 quarts of it," Gladys laughs. "I didn't know what I was doing, but I was having fun doing it." It was at that party that their friends brainstormed to come up with a product name that somehow included Stan or Gladys' name. STAN CORN didn't make the cut but GLAD CORN was a hit. Since Stan is the “scientist", Gladys took on the job of selling the product. She read a book on marketing, and after taking to heart the first lesson - the name of the product should be upbeat and descriptive of the product - they stuck with the name GLAD CORN.

Before launching into production, Stan and Gladys did a couple of years of research. The first thought was to give the idea to a food manufacturing company and get a royalty, but soon discovered they had to do it themselves. They toured food manufacturing plants, and while visiting relatives in South Dakota, saw a small potato chip factory and realized that they too could make GLAD CORN on a small scale. They got licensed and about 2 years later, their small home based manufacturing facility was started, but not before having the USDA approve their ideas, in advance of spending their limited resources, on modifying their barn into a factory. "I didn't want to build something only to be told I should have done something else," the experienced farmer stated. "We combed the junkyards for stainless steel items that would allow us to begin production economically."

Stan and Gladys lent their own new venture $3500 and paid it all back within six months. “This project has to sink or swim on its own," Stan told Gladys. “We will capitalize the start-up by using some of our savings and expand with the profits the new company generates." Their first day of production they did 26 cases of product. Gladys did all the sales, calling on all the stores within driving distance, wowing them with samples she had them taste.

This was a family business through and through. Initially, Stan got up at 4 a.m. to start the processing, then Gladys and Stan's father (who is now 93 years old) came in at 8 a.m. to hand package the product and put it into the cases to be sold. This schedule allowed Stan to also take care of other farming chores. They've been doing this for 15 years now and have gotten more automated and hire 5 others (who have gotten to be like family members) to help with the work. 700 cases of GLAD CORN are made on each processing day (which is 1 or 2 days a week). When asked what the secret to her marketing approach was, Gladys replied without hesitation, "I always leave samples. And even now when we sell a case, we include a free bag so that the store owner can put product out and let the customers sample it. Once people taste it, they're likely to buy it."

How to Use the GLAD CORN snack:
GLAD CORN comes in four delicious flavors in two different size bags. Original, Bar-B- Que, Gourmet Cheddar and Jalapeno. This gluten free snack is perfect to throw into your child's lunchbox, or keep around the kitchen for the solving-of-the hunger-pains moment. Try these other fabulous ways to use GLAD CORN:

se instead of croutons
Garnish on soups
In place of cracker crumbs
Trail mix ingredient
Nut substitute

In order to give you the best price, GLAD CORN comes by the box, and is available either in (24) 4oz. bags, or (8) 12 oz. bags for each flavor. For first time experimenters, we have a variety pack that allows you to try 1, 2, 3 or 6 of each flavor. Give it a try! It will end up being a staple in your kitchen pantry!

Gourmet Cheddar
Variety pack

Here's How to Buy GLAD CORN Natural Snack Food
(Click Here)

G.E.F. Gourmet Foods, Inc
35584 Co. Rd. 8
Mountain Lake, Minnesota 56159
(800) 692-6762

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