Most of us know the potato is
vegetable, but there are so many other fun potato facts you may not know.
The potato can be traced back 4,000 years to
the Peruvians in South America.
potato was the first food ever to be grown in outer space. Astronauts took
potato plants on space shuttle Columbia in 1995 to see if they could grow them
in zero gravity. The
experiment was a success.
Potatoes are also environmentally friendly. Not only are they cheap to purchase,
but they're also very easy to grow. They don't require a lot of fertilizer, and
they don't need to be babied as much as some other types of vegetables.
Potatoes are also quite healthy, unless you only eat them in the form of French
fries. However, baked potatoes are packed with nutrients. There are only about 100 calories in an 8-ounce baked or boiled potato.
Royalty used to wear potatoes to make a fashion statement. The first time potatoes became popular in Europe was after Marie Antoinette
wore potato blossoms.
Potatoes are one of the most important crops in the entire world.
They fall at number four on the list of important crops, with only corn, wheat,
and rice beating them out for importance.
After dairy products, potatoes are
the second most consumed food in all of the United States. In fact, the average
American eats just under 140 pounds of potatoes every year. That means every
American consumes almost 17 pounds of potato chips, over 50 pounds of fresh
potatoes, two pounds of canned potatoes, 13 pounds of dehydrated
potatoes, and about 55 pounds of frozen potatoes every single
Potatoes are actually about 80 percent water. Only 20 percent of it is actually a solid.
The world's largest potato weighed in at over 18
Potatoes will store for fairly long periods of time. It is best to keep them in a cool,
dry, dark place. Boiling potatoes tend to have slightly
less starch than baking potatoes and hold their shape better when boiled. These normally include
reds and some yellows. Baking potatoes
make the best mashed potatoes as well.
New potatoes are not
necessarily red potatoes, but simply immature potatoes.
potatoes are seldom eaten and have a slightly bitter taste.
The potato is part of the nightshade family of plants and like its
relative the tomato, does have some disagreeable qualities. One should never eat
anything green from a potato. The leaves and stem are poisonous. Ingestion of these parts,
especially in significant quantities, may require hospitalization.
Potatoes should be stored in dark, but dry places. Light will cause the
formation of solanine on the skin of the potato. Though not likely to cause
serious harm, green skinned potatoes can taste bitter and may result in
temporary digestive discomfort.
The skin is where most of the vitamins reside. Skins should however be
thoroughly washed to move any chemicals that have been sprayed on them. This is
often done to prevent sprouting. Sprouts lessen the shelf life of potatoes by
sucking out the nutrients in the potatoes.
Potatoes are one of the most nutritious staple crops discovered by man. With
milk in the diet, it can be a
sustaining and healthful source of energy, vitamins, and minerals both in times
of want and in times of plenty.