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We consume millions of them every single year. They’re inexpensive, free from fat (when we pluck them from the ground at least) and they’re jam-packed full of nutrients and vitamins. Not only that, they’re extraordinarily versatile, take on flavour well and can be made to fit into a wide range of cuisines. This week it’s time for potatoes to shine!
As well as these unique properties, they’re a wonderful source of natural fibre, they contribute to your recommended daily intake of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and B6. B6 in particular has lots of important uses in the body; supporting normal red blood cell formation, nervous system function and helping ease those feelings of tiredness and fatigue that we all experience.
It’s strange then that the potato gets a hard time in the press? Why such a staple food across the globe gets the negative press is hard to understand, but we shouldn’t let be fooled by everything we read. Whether it’s mash, baked, jacket, boiled and in salads, potato is one food that never disappoints and is almost expected at every meal.
Here are our fun facts which explain the potatoes exciting journey around the world!
1. Potatoes were first eaten more than 6,000 years ago by indigenous people living in the Andes mountains of Peru.
2. The Incas measured time by how long it took for potatoes to cook.
3. Religious leaders denounced the potato because it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible.
4. Potatoes are the world’s fourth food staple – after wheat, corn and rice.
5. Potatoes are grown in more than 125 countries
6. Every year enough potatoes are grown worldwide to cover a four-lane motorway circling the world six times.
7. China is the world’s largest potato producer.
8. Namibians each eat an average of 110 kilograms of potatoes every year – not quite as much as the Germans consume.
9. In 1778 Prussia and Austria fought the Potato War in which each side tried to starve the other by consuming their potato crop.
10. During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush of the 1890’s, potatoes were so valued for their vitamin C content that miners traded them for gold.
If you’re looking for your local potato producers, make sure you use our local food map or Marketplace offering produce from 530+ food producers and independent food stores, which can all be purchased online here.
Don’t forget if you have a favourite recipe using British produce, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long, like the one below.