Field corn is every variety of maize that is not grown primarily for consumption as human food in the form of fresh kernels in the United States. In contrast sweet corn is grown primary as edible crop. Popcorn, although it is not grown for human consumption in the form of fresh kernels, is not considered to be field corn. More than 98% of corn-growing land in the U.S. is in use for field-corn production.
Field corn is not generally regarded, in industrialized societies, as desirable for human food without commercial pre-processing. An exception is "roasting ears", similar in appearance to corn on the cob, although it is necessarily roasted (rather than boiled or steamed as is usual with sweet corn), and is neither tender nor sweet even after the roasting.