Many years ago while taking a nutrition class at the same time as a computer programming class I worked on a program to find what foods would give you the recommended daily allowances. My first run though I had limited it to one food.
My computer program chose potatoes. They gave you everything you needed to live. You just needed to eat many, many pounds a week, more than anyone could possibly eat.
But it did prove to me that the lowly potato has a little bit of everything we need to live, vitamins, minerals, protein and carbohydrates. So you can see why the Irish left Ireland during the Great Potato Famine. It was their major food source now gone.
Potatoes are a big crop our home state, Washington State. Most people think of Idaho potatoes but Washington actually grows more of them.
"Potatoes vs. sweet potatoes: The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) belongs in the same family as the morning glory and is not a relative of the potato. The Spanish who brought sweet potatoes back from the West Indies called them by their native name batatas. When white potatoes (papas) were introduced into Spain some years later, some people thought they were related. Soon papas were renamed patatas, but both were translated into the English as potato."
From the Washington State Potato Commission
There are many kinds of potatoes but 4 basics types: round whites, long whites, russets and round reds.
They are a good resource of vitamin C and potassium. One medium baked potato contains only 110 calories. (I'm sure that is without butter, sour cream, bacon bits, etc.)
Here is a good link about the types of potatoes and their uses:
And another with the history of potatoes, some triva and vocabulary.
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