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7​ reasons to fall back in love with potatoes

W​hy the spud life is the best life

39w ago

6.5K

Baked, mashed, fried, roasted or boiled in our eyes the humble potato is king of the carbs, but not all of you agree it seems.

The average British family throws away £700 worth of food every year, new research shows, and potatoes are the items most likely to be chucked. As a nation we waste 4.4 million spuds a day!

The potato is one of the most versatile root vegetables around and needs 15 litres of water to grow. They are great in stews, layered on top of cottage pies and flattened into pancakes, yet the alarming amount we waste every day adds up to 702,000 tons a year with a carbon footprint equivalent to 326,000 tons of CO2.

Is the sweet potato stealing the classic King Edward's thunder? Are we just eating less white carbs and more cauliflower everything? Why are we shunning the tattie with such free abandon?

We at Food Tribe felt it was time to make a case for why we should all fall in love with potatoes again. Let us know if you think we have missed any!

Potatoes are f​illing

Rebeca Sendroiu on Unsplash

Rebeca Sendroiu on Unsplash

Let's get real. Potatoes are a sturdy and satisfying asset to any meal. It would take seven croissants to fill up your tummy as much as a single potato? Not applicable to new potatoes.

Meanwhile potatoes actually top the satiety index (a measure of how full people feel after eating specific foods) as the number-one filling food.

Potatoes with skins left on are a natural source of fibre and the NHS website suggests fibre can help us feel full, which means we're less likely to eat as much for dinner.

P​otatoes are nutritious

J​eshoots on Unsplash

J​eshoots on Unsplash

P​otatoes get a bad rap for being "starchy", but starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet.

As well as starch, potatoes contain fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins. Just don't be overly generous on the butter and cheese toppings!

Random fun fact: the world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records. That’s enough for 73 portions of medium fries at McDonalds.

P​otatoes can be grown in space

P​exels

P​exels

In 1995 thanks to The University of Wisconsin, Madison and NASA, the potato became the first food to ever be successfully grown in outer space.

Potatoes may have fed Matt Damon's character Mark Watney in the The Martian for 100 days, but they could also feed real-life astronauts and explorers on the red planet. The NASA-backed international Potato Centre (CIP) successfully grew potatoes in Mars-like conditions in 2015.

Did you know the word potato comes from the Spanish word patata? True story.

T​he ultimate comfort food

Charles on Unsplash

Charles on Unsplash

Need we say more? P​otatoes go so well with cheese, and melted butter and even more cheese. They work for us baked, sliced as dauphinoise and as creamy mashed served in huge heaps. Warm, nourishing and filling. The feel good factor of the spud is real.

P​otatoes gave us chips

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Skin on fries, skinny chips, chunky rough cuts: without the potato we wouldn't have chips (fries) and fish would be very lonely for one thing.

Charles Dickens gives us the earliest literary references to it in A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, when he fondly recalls "husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil".

Meanwhile, in France, street vendors at Paris’ Ponte Neuf bridge were selling fried chunks of potato as early as the 1780s. Third US president Thomas Jefferson loved them so much he introduced them to America.

P​otatoes are cheap

U​nsplash

U​nsplash

The term "cheap as chips" didn't come from nowhere. Tesco currently sell a bag of Maris Piper potatoes weighing 2.5kg for just £2, while a large loose baking potato is 30p a piece. A little goes a long way when it comes to spuds and they can be the foundation to a nutritious meal.

A study conducted by the University of Washington in 2013 and funded by the United States Potato Board found that potatoes are the best value vegetable around.

"The ability to identify affordable, nutrient dense vegetables is important to families focused on stretching their food dollar," said Adam Drewnowski, PhD and lead author of the study.

T​hey're not high in carbs

F​lickr

F​lickr

This may come as a surprise, but a medium-sized apple contains around 16g of carbohydrates (mostly as sugars), which is almost the same as a medium-sized potato, which contains around 19g of carb . There’s not much in it, is there?

Even though it’s a complex carbohydrate, some potatoes increase blood sugar levels faster than other types of complex carbs.

To avoid a spike in glucose levels, just eat potatoes in moderation: there's certainly no need to avoid potatoes completely. Give spuds a chance!

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Comments (7)

  • Where I am in Karachi we eat them a lot here I personally love them

      8 months ago
  • I Love potato's, but i am Dutch. Netherlands is one big potato country XD.

      8 months ago
  • I don't understand this anti carb theory at all.

    It makes no sense.

    The human body requires fuel.

    Complex carbohydrates provide energy.

    But lets try to figure it out , historically.

    Our ancestors probably wandered about , nibbling on anything.

    Grass seeds are rich in oils, which provide energy for the human body.

    Eventually, our ancestors figured out if we crush the grass seeds, and add water, we get a sticky gooey food supply.

    Then we baked the goo, and that was bread.

    We experimented with planting seeds, and somehow corn and wheat came from this, I guess.

    Then we learned to cultivate root veges, like spuds.

    The seed grinders and bread bakers eventually invented harvesting tools, and then tractors, and later bread baking machines, Inpinger conveyor pizza ovens, and various shops from which to purchase equipment and bread products.

    Then potatoes were discovered in the Americas, and before we new it, potato on bread was a thing.

    Soon people had enough energy to construct interstate highways, and McDonalds on the service roads that run next to the highways, where potato chips could be sold at a reasonable price.

    I saw a documentary a few years ago.

    The presenter explained that potatoes have made a greater contribution to global economic development than gold.

    This is because they gave us energy so that we could build civilisation.

    Spuds are high in Vit C and fibre.

    I also saw a graph on the internet, which showed that potato yield per acre has increased 5 fold since 1945.

    So we are getting better at growing them, which should keep prices down.

    Mashed potatoes with peas and carrots on bread makes a wholesome lunch time sandwich.

      9 months ago
  • A while ago I discovered Flash Mash, and this was basically mash potato mixed with just about anything you like. For example, finely chop a leak and fry it gently in butter or oil.

    When softened, stir it into your mash and add about a table spoon of whole grain mustard, to your taste. If you need salt and pepper, then add that too and serve immediately.

    Another suggestion is add crushed garlic to your mash with some grated hard cheese such as Leerdammer or Jarlseburg. What's not to love? Enjoy!

      8 months ago
  • Potatoes are brilliant. To put it in context, I'd rather have a potato wrapped up in foil and salted than marshmallows as campfire food.

      9 months ago
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