Potato Fun Facts


      Most of us know the potato istechnically avegetable, but there are so many other fun potato facts you may not know.

      1. The potato can be traced back 4,000 years tothe Peruvians in South America.
      2. Thepotato was the first food ever to be grown in outer space. Astronauts tookpotato plants on space shuttle Columbia in 1995 to see if they could grow themin zero gravity. Theexperiment was a success.
      3. 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, andthey don't need to be babied as much as some other types of vegetables.
      4. Potatoes are also quite healthy, unless you only eat them in the form of Frenchfries. However, baked potatoes are packed with nutrients. There are only about 100 calories in an 8-ounce baked or boiled potato.
      5. Royalty used to wear potatoes to make a fashion statement. The first time potatoes became popular in Europe was after Marie Antoinettewore potato blossoms.
      6. 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.
      7. After dairy products, potatoes arethe second most consumed food in all of the United States. In fact, the averageAmerican eats just under 140 pounds of potatoes every year. That means everyAmerican consumes almost 17 pounds of potato chips, over 50 pounds of freshpotatoes, two pounds of canned potatoes, 13 pounds of dehydratedpotatoes, and about 55 pounds of frozen potatoes every singleyear.
      8. Potatoes are actually about 80 percent water. Only 20 percent of it is actually a solid.
      9. The world's largest potato weighed in at over 18pounds.
      10. 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 slightlyless starch than baking potatoes and hold their shape better when boiled. These normally includereds and some yellows. Baking potatoesmake the best mashed potatoes as well.
      11. New potatoes are notnecessarily red potatoes, but simply immature potatoes.
      12. Rawpotatoes are seldom eaten and have a slightly bitter taste.
      13. The potato is part of the nightshade family of plants and like itsrelative the tomato, does have some disagreeable qualities. One should never eatanything green from a potato. The leaves and stem are poisonous. Ingestion of these parts,especially in significant quantities, may require hospitalization.
      14. Potatoes should be stored in dark, but dry places. Light will cause theformation of solanine on the skin of the potato. Though not likely to causeserious harm, green skinned potatoes can taste bitter and may result intemporary digestive discomfort.
      15. The skin is where most of the vitamins reside. Skins should however bethoroughly washed to move any chemicals that have been sprayed on them. This isoften done to prevent sprouting. Sprouts lessen the shelf life of potatoes bysucking out the nutrients in the potatoes.
      16. Potatoes are one of the most nutritious staple crops discovered by man. Withmilk in the diet, it can be asustaining and healthful source of energy, vitamins, and minerals both in timesof want and in times of plenty.