May 25, 2015

Potatoes Business

The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and corn/maize. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 BC. They first came to the US in 1621.

Did you know there is a National Potato Council, Potato Association of America, World Potato Congress, US Potato Board, US Potato Promotion Board, among others. In addition, Michigan has Mich. Potato Industry Commission, Mich. Seed Potato Assoc., and Potato Growers of Mich. There are more than 100 varieties of potatoes in the US. There are many more types of potato chips from around the world. Next week I will list a few of them.

Michigan supplies over a third of all potato chips in the US. Its annual Winter Potato Conference is one of the biggest in the country. It is overshadowed by the  Potato Expo, the largest conference and trade show for the potato industry held in North America.

Potatoes contain many of the essential nutrients that the dietary guidelines recommend Americans increase in their diet. Potatoes eaten with the skin provide nearly half of the Daily Value for vitamin C and are one of the best sources of potassium (more than a banana), iodine, iron, other trace minerals, and fiber. One medium-sized potato has 100 calories and provides complex carbohydrates needed to fuel our brains. Potatoes contain no fat.

Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London noted that a small "bag of ready-salted crisps" contains less salt than a serving of "Special K, All-Bran, Golden Grahams, Cheerios, Shreddies, and every brand of cornflakes on sale in the UK."