Potatoes are a staple in homes across the globe and rightfully so. They are easily accessible, affordable, delicious, easy to prepare, versatile, filling and according to some – good for you. Though they make a debut in just about every cupboard worldwide, they do not get the credit that they deserve.
A potato is so much more than a little dirt covered spud that flourishes in temperate climates. We think that potatoes need more love and in order to help spread a little potato love around, here are some incredible (interesting, amazing – whatever you want to call them) facts about potatoes.
Baked, mashed, fried, roasted or boiled – it matters not – the potato makes any meal better. The potato hardly needs a reason to be praised, but since we think that these little spuds are often taken for granted, here is a small compilation of interesting facts that might make you appreciate your next meal accompaniment.
- Potatoes take the cake as the first food to ever be grown in space – Thanks to The University of Wisconsin, Madison and NASA, in 1995 the potato became the first food to ever be successfully grown in outer space (and you thought that the potatoes grown in the move Martian were creative licence!).
- Potato blossoms were once a fad – The French Aristocracy popularised the potato fad when King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette accessorised with the dainty little white blossoms. During this time period, the blossoms of the potato plants were thought to be so appealing that they were used as a persuasive measure to sell the crop.
- Potato consumption is old news, like really old – Evidence suggests that potato consumption dates back over 6,000 years ago to the ancient mountains of Peru.
- Potatoes are medicinal – In Inca culture potatoes are used for medicinal purposes to heal broken bones, sunburn, frostbite, acne, sore throat, as well as minor aches and pains.
- Potatoes can be hydrating – The composition of potatoes is 80% water and only 20% solid.
- Potatoes won’t break your diet – The average potato only has 100 calories.
- Fibre – Potatoes are said to have double the amount of fibre in them than rice and 20% more fibre than pasta.
- Carbohydrates – Potatoes have 25% less the amount of carbs in them than that of pasta and 50% less carbs than rice.
- Fat free – Potatoes are said to be virtually fat free.
- Vitamin B – Potatoes are packed with double the amount of B-vitamins of that in pasta and 6 times more than what is in rice. Potatoes account for 10% of the human body’s daily value of b-vitamins.
- Vitamin C – Potatoes have 60% more vitamin C in them than blueberries. Rice and pasta have 0% vitamin C. Potatoes have 30% the suggested daily value of vitamin C.
- Potassium – Potatoes have 80% more potassium than bananas! Potatoes account for 25% of the recommended daily intake of potassium.
Potatoes are good for you. There is no way around that. The amount of vitamins that are packed into these little spuds is immense! The range of vitamins in potatoes spans from potassium, to vitamin C, vitamin B, folate and many more.
That being said, as a cupboard staple, these ancient meal accompaniments are one to add to your family’s meal rotation. They are affordable, they are easily accessible, they are ultra-versatile and more importantly they are delicious.
There are many different varieties of potatoes that grow in the temperate climate of Australia – each an individual, each delicious and each useful in many ways. Whether you boil, bake, fry, or roast your next potato, show it a little more respect than you once did. It deserves it!
“Potato Facts.” Fresh Potatoes (website). Retrieved from http://freshpotatoes.com.au/potato-facts.
Sterling, J. (2014, August 19). “6 Things You Didn’t Know About Potatoes.” Food & Wine (website). Retrieved from http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2014/08/19/6-things-you-didnt-know-about-potatoes.
Kim, D. (2014, July 15). “10 Amazing Things About Potatoes That You Didn’t Know About.” The Epoch Times (website). Retrieved from http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/801404-10-amazing-things-about-potatoes-you-didnt-know-about/.