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Trivia and Facts

Facts:
 

• Did you know that farmers grow “blue” potatoes that are used for chips, and specialty dishes? Some folks make red, white and blue potato salad.

March 14th is Potato Chip Day!

Potatoes were originally cultivated in South America, probably in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.

• Did you know that potatoes are a staple in most United States households and are one of the most cost effective and nutritious foods you can put on your family’s table? 

• There is a potato variety that was developed at Cornell University that is named after the wife/mother of a potato growing family in NY, The Mahany’s. It is called Reba and it was introduced in 1996, but it has already become one of the top ten varieties grown in NY. It is used fresh or as a chipping potato. 

• Did you know that different varieties of potatoes have different uses? Some are better for boiling, others for baking, and still others for chipping. Visit our variety use page for tips. 

• It is a little known fact that the green on the skin of a potato is a natural reaction to the potato being exposed to too much light. It produces a bitter taste and should be cut away before cooking or eating. 

• Americans love their potatoes! The average person eats 126 pounds of potatoes each year in the form of frozen, fresh, chips and dehydrated. That’s a lot of spuds!

• Did you know that the Healthy Potato is naturally nutritious?  It is filled with good-for-you fiber. It is rich in Vitamin C and potassium. There is NO fat, cholesterol, and no sodium all for a mere 100 calories per serving.

• Fresh, grown potatoes have more potassium than bananas, spinach and broccoli. • potato growers are stewards of the environment using innovative strategies to protect our land and water. They utilize sustainable crop management practices and work hard to minimize the impact of crop protection tools on the environment.

• Buying locally produced potatoes ensures you are getting the freshest, tastiest, most eco-friendly supplies available to consumers. 

• Many potato growers come from generations of farmers who have lived, worked and contributed to their local communities for years.  They are working to continue this tradition providing nutritious food to their neighbors. 

• Potato Chips can be a part of a healthy diet with an average of 150 calories per serving. When you compare the fat (10 grams or about 2.25 tsps), salt (175 milligrams or about 1/10 of a teaspoon), cholesterol (0) and preservatives (0) in the average potato chip to other foods, you will be surprised at how well potato chips stack up. (These are averages; check your chips for individual figures.) 

• NY is the original home of the potato chip. In 1853 railroad magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt complained that his potatoes were cut too thick and sent them back to the kitchen at a fashionable resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. To spite his haughty guest, Chef George Crum sliced some potatoes paper-thin, fried them in hot oil, salted and served them. To everyone's surprise, Vanderbilt loved his "Saratoga Crunch Chips," and potato chips have been popular ever since. 

• Growers grow potatoes for chipping by many regional processors. Potato chips are made from fresh slices of potatoes. They are full of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, fiber and 11 other nutrients.

• A potato is about 80% water and 20% solid.

• The most popularly consumed potato variety in the U.S. is the Russet Burbank.

• Thinly sliced and fried potatoes were first created in Saratoga, New York and “Saratoga Crunch Chips” are what we now call potato chips.

• Potatoes are grown in all 50 states and in 125 countries.

• An 8 oz. baked potato has 110 calories.

• The average American eats 124 pounds of potatoes per year. Germans eat more than 200 pounds per year.

• Potato chips are the number one snack food in the world.

• The Irish Potato Famine was caused by a fungus that destroyed the country’s ENTIRE potato crop.

• Henry Spalding first planted potatoes in the U.S. in 1837.

• “French Fries” were introduced to America when Thomas Jefferson served them at a Whitehouse dinner.

• United States potato lovers consumed more than four million tons of french fries in various shapes and sizes.

• The largest potato grown was 18 pounds and four ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records and was grown in England in 1795.

• The highest volume baked potato restaurant, The Hot Potato, is located in Plaza las Americas in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

• Believe it or not:
   • Potatoes are more nutritious when eaten with the skin on.
   • Potatoes were the first vegetable grown in space in 1995.
   • Europeans consume twice as many potatoes as Americans per year.
   • Potatoes are second only to milk products as the most consumed food in America.
   • You can treat facial blemishes by washing your face daily with cool potato juice.
   • You can treat frostbite or sunburn by applying raw grated potato to the affected area.
   • Reduce aches and pains by rubbing boiled potato water (cooled) to the affected area.

• Potatoes as currency
   • During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold. Potatoes were so valued for their vitamin C content that miners traded gold for potatoes.
   • On the South Atlantic Island of Tristan de Cunha, potatoes were once used as the country's unofficial currency. Because of its remoteness, food was most valuable.

• Unusual beliefs about potatoes
   • Because the potato was unknown to them, Europeans initially considered potatoes poisonous or evil due to their similarities to the nightshade family. Some members of the nightshade family include Mandrake and Belladonna, which are used for medicinal purposes. Germany's King Frederick William realized that potatoes were a good food source and ordered peasants to plant and eat potatoes or their noses would be cut off.

• Interesting uses of potatoes
   • The Incas had many uses for potatoes other than dinner:
     - Raw slices placed on broken bones to promote healing.
     - Carried to prevent rheumatism
     - Eaten with other foods to prevent indigestion.
     - Measured time: by correlating units of time by how long it took for potatoes to cook.

   • French chemist Louis Lumiere used microscopic grains of potato starch fixed on 9 inch by 12 inch glass plates to create and market the first autochromes in 1907. Autochromes were widely used in photography before the development of color film.

• Various folk remedies recommend using potatoes to:
   • Treat facial blemishes by washing you face daily with cool potato juice.
   • Help a toothache by carrying a potato in your pocket.
   • Ease a sore throat by putting a slice of baked potato in a stocking and tying it around your throat.
 
• Some of the most famous potato dishes we enjoy today were created by mistake. Collinet, chef for French King Louis Phillipe (reign 1830-1848) unintentionally created soufflés (or puffed) potatoes by plunging already fried potatoes into extremely hot oil to reheat them when the King arrived late for dinner one night. To the chef's surprise and the king's delight, the potatoes puffed up like little balloons.

One potato, two potato...
Actually there are more than 200 potato varieties of all shapes and sizes grown in the United States.
Often imitated, never duplicated.
If they’re called “Tater-Tots®” shredded potatoes, they must be from Ore-Ida®! Despite the many imitators that have appeared over the years, the brand name Tater Tots® is a registered trademark of the Ore-Ida® Business.
How do you say Ö“potato”?
Learn how to say potato in other languages: Pomme de terre (French) patata (Spanish); panbowka (Polish); or yang shee (Chinese).
America's favorite vegetable.
Every year Americans consume about 140 pounds of potatoes per person.
Not to be outdone.
Europeans consume twice as many spuds as American potato lovers ñ a whopping 280 pounds of potatoes per person a year!
Potato Picking.
The greatest number of U.S. barrels picked in a 9 Ω hour day is 235 by Walter Sirois of Caribou, Maine on September 30, 1950.
Fashion Statement.
Marie Antoinette made potatoes a fashion statement when she paraded through the French countryside wearing potato blossoms in her hair. They soon became the rage in Parisian court circles.
Worth it's Weight in Gold.
Gold Rush miners prized the potato, high in vitamin C, because it prevented scurvy. Men traded gold for the precious potato, ounce for ounce.
Potato King.
Louis XVI of France wore potato flowers in his buttonhole to encourage the growing of potatoes.
Work of Art.
Vincent Van Gogh painted four still-life canvases devoted entirely to the potato.
In Tribute.
In Germany, there is a monument to the potato with the inscription "To God and Francis Drake, who brought to Europe for the everlasting benefit of the poor ñ the Potato."
Old ‘Potato’ Tale.
A peeled potato in the pocket was assumed to cure a toothache and a dried potato worn around the neck to help rheumatism.
Say ‘Potato’!
In 1907, French Chemist Louis Lumiere used microscopic grains of potato starch to create the first auto chromes used in photography before the development of color film.
Any Relation?
The potato is one of about 2,000 species in the “Solanaceae” family, which includes such plants as tomato, eggplant, pepper, ground cherry, and petunia.
Potatoes are a "tuber" or root vegetable.
The edible part of the potato plant grows under ground.
The Potato Museum.
One of the world's few Potato Museums is located in Washington D.C. It contains over 2,000 potato artifacts, including antique harvesting tools, an 1893 potato flask and a 1903 Parker Brothers game called "The Potato Race."
Keep Peeling!
The greatest amount of potatoes peeled by five people with standard kitchen knives in 45 minutes is 587 lbs., 8 oz. in Melbourne, Vic, Australia on March 17, 1981.
Healthy Skin.
Potato skins contain lots of nutrients including fiber, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorous and B vitamins.
Where No Man Has Gone Before.
In 1995 the potato was the first vegetable grown in outer space.
In the Beginning.
Inca Indians in Peru were the first to grow potatoes in approximately 2500BC.
Grow Potatoes Or Else!
In the late 17th Century, Germany's King Frederik William decided potatoes could solve the food shortage problem and ordered the peasants to plant potatoes or have their noses cut off!
The Final Four.
Potatoes are the world's fourth food staple... after wheat, corn and rice.
Secret Weapon.
Potatoes were seen as one of the best wartime foods throughout Europe because of their nutritional value and fast growth.
Potato War.
In 1778 Prussia and Austria fought a war by trying to starve each other's army by consuming their food source, mostly potatoes. The war became known as the Potato War.
No Wasted Space.
The potato is known to produce more food per unit area of land planted than any other major-planted crop.
A Potato Is All You Need.
At one time, according to the Encyclopedia Americana, nutritionists believed the consumption of 5 pounds of potatoes per day plus one quart of milk would provide all the nutrients essential for the human diet.
Pound for Pound.
It takes 10,000 pounds of potatoes to make 3,500 pounds of potato chips. In the U.S., a pound of potato chips costs two hundred times more than a pound of potatoes!
Frozen Freshness.
In 2004 the USDA changed regulations to define frozen French fries as "fresh vegetables."
Mr. Potato Head.
He was born in Rhode Island in 1952 and was the first toy to be advertised on television.
Potato License.
The word "Potato" first appeared on an Idaho license plate in 1928. The now famous words, "Famous Potatoes", appeared on Idaho plates in 1957.
We’re #1.
Idaho is the number one producer of potatoes in the nation. The state vegetable is, of course, the potato.
French What?
America's first introduction to French fries dates to 1802 when President Thomas Jefferson served French fries at a White House dinner.
More Fries Please.
Americans eat more than 16 pounds of French fries every year, which comes to over two million tons!
Most Popular.
Frozen potato products, which include French fries, are the #1 prepared style of potatoes in the U.S.
Potato, ‘Batata’.
The potato, a name derived from the American Indian word "Batata", was introduced to Europeans by Spanish conquerors during the late 16th Century.
Water Weight.
A potato is about 80% water and 20% solid.
The largest potato grown was 18 pounds and 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It was grown in England in 1795.
Please Pass the Potatoes.
The potato is the second most consumed food in the United States - trailing only milk products.
Low-Cal Diet.
Contrary to a common misconception, potatoes are not high in calories. One medium sized potato has fewer calories than a grapefruit, more potassium than a banana, and more usable iron than any other vegetable.
Health Kick.
One medium sized potato contains 110 calories, while a one-cup serving of rice has 225 calories, and a cup of pasta has 155 calories. Potatoes are also high in fiber, and loaded with complex carbohydrates. And best of all, potatoes are fat-free!

 
Health Benefits of Potato:
 
All those naughty children around the world, who dislike eating any vegetable and hate them like anything, share another common interest. All of them like potatoes. This is the magic of the potatoes. You will hardly find anyone who dislikes them.

Today one cannot even imagine vegetables without potatoes. This shapeless and ugly looking tuber, bearing the scientific name Solanum Tuberosum, has cast a spell on us. Potato lovers (including me), and those who do not like them, will be equally delighted to know that potatoes have more in store for them than just carbohydrates and calories. Let us uncover them.

The health benefits of potato include the following:



Weight Gain: Potatoes are mounds of carbohydrates and contain little proteins too. This makes it an ideal diet for those lean and thins who desperately want to put on weight. The vitamins like vitamin-C and B-complex also help in proper absorption of this carbohydrate. That is why they make an inevitable part of the diet of Sumo Wrestlers.
Digestion: Since potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and facilitate digestion. This property makes them a good diet for patients, babies and those who cannot digest hard food but need energy. But you must remember that eating too much of potatoes regularly may cause acidity in the long run. Potatoes also contain considerable amount of fiber or roughage, more in raw potatoes and cold ones than boiled or hot ones.
Skin Care: Vitamin-C and B-complex and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are good for the skin. Apart from that, pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, mixed with honey, can serve as excellent skin and face packs. This helps even curing pimples and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, gives a quick relief and heals fast. Smashed potatoes, even water in which potatoes are washed, are very good for softening and cleaning skin, especially around elbows, back of the palms etc.
Scurvy: The vitamin-C present in potatoes can help prevent this dreaded deficiency disease, caused due to lack of vitamin-C. It is characterized by cracked lip corners, spongy and bleeding gums, frequent viral infections like cold etc.
Rheumatism: There are two aspects of this factor. Vitamins, calcium and magnesium in potatoes help giving relief in rheumatism. Water obtained from boiling potato gives relief in rheumatism. But due to high starch or carbohydrate content it tends to increase body weight which may have adverse effects on rheumatic people.
Inflammation: Potato is very effective in inflammation, internal or external. Since it is soft, easy digestible and has a lot of vitamin-C (very good anti-oxidant and repairs wears and tears), potassium and vitamin-B6, among others, it relieves inflammation of intestines and the digestive system. It is very good diet for those who have mouth ulcers. Again, raw smashed potato can be applied to relieve external inflammation, burns etc.
High Blood Pressure: Since high blood pressure is caused due to a number of reasons, including diabetes, tension, indigestion, nature of food and many such, different are the cures. Potato can be used to relieve High Blood Pressure due to tension, indigestion etc., due to abundance of vitamin-C and B in it, but should be avoided if it is due to diabetes. The fiber present in it is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improves functioning of insulin in the body, which aids to lowering of blood pressure, since there is a direct relation between the blood pressure and the glucose level in the blood and insulin regulates this glucose level.
Brain Function: Proper functioning of the brain depends largely on the glucose level, oxygen supply, some members of the vitamin-B complex and some hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids. Potatoes cater to almost all the needs mentioned above. They are high in carbohydrates and thus maintain good level of glucose in the blood which does not let brain fatigue creep in and keeps the brain active and alert. Next is oxygen which is carried to the brain by the haemoglobin in the blood and whose main constituent is iron. Potato contains iron too and thus aids to this function also. Next is the turn of vitamin-B complex. Here again, potato is rich in vitamin-B6 and contains traces of other members of this complex. In addition, it contains certain other elements like phosphorus and zinc which are good for brain too.
Heart Diseases: Apart from the vitamins (B-complex, C), minerals and roughage, potatoes also contain certain substances called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin etc.) which are beneficial for heart and other internal organs. But again, since it raises the glucose level in the blood and over intake may cause obesity, which in turn can put a lot of pressure on your heart; hence it is not recommended for obese or diabetic people.
Kidney Stones: Kidney Stones, also known as Renal Calculi, are caused mainly due to raised level of uric acid in blood. In such cases, high proteins should be avoided, particularly animal proteins such as meat, turkey, shrimps, sea fishes, eggs, milk etc. as well as spinach, raw plantain, black grams and certain beans, which drastically increase the level of uric acid in blood. Iron and calcium also help form the stone. Potato is rich in both of these and normally seems not fit from this point of view. But it is very rich in magnesium which resists accumulation or deposition of calcium (calcification) in the kidney and other tissues, thereby proving beneficial for treatment of renal calculi.
Diarrhea: It is an excellent energy-rich diet for those suffering from diarrhea, since it is very easy to digest as well as contains mild roughage. But an over intake may cause diarrhea due to excess ingestion of starch.
Other Benefits and Cautions: Juice of potato is a good treatment for burns, bruises, sprains, skin problems, ulcers, effect of narcotics, cancer of prostrate and uterus and formation of cysts or tumors. On the other hand, some care also needs to be taken while eating potatoes. Green potatoes are poisonous, and so are potato leaves and fruits, as they contain alkaloids like solanine, chaconine and arsenic whose overdose may prove fatal. Moreover, the glycemic index (in simple words, the energy or sugar content) of potatoes is very high (above 80) and so obese, diabetic and those who are slimming down should avoid eating potatoes. If eaten, potatoes are better baked than raw or fried.

 
 
Fun Facts
 

Potato chips are American's favorite snack food. They are devoured at a rate of 1.2 billion pounds a year.

 

Potato chips were invented in Saratoga Springs in 1853 by chef George Crum

 

Which vegetable do Americans eat the most? Potatoes. The average person in the United States eats 140 pounds of potatoes every year.

 

Spuds in Space: The potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space!

 

During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold ? Potatoes were so valued for their vitamin C content that miners traded gold for potatoes. In fact, there is even a potato called Yukon Gold. These potatoes are slightly flat and oval in shape with light gold, thin skin and light yellow flesh.

 

More than 400 years ago, the Inca Indians in those countries grew potatoes in their mountain valleys. They made a light floury mixture that they used to bake a potato-type bread.