the columbian exchange

THE POTATO

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cool facts about the potato

Fact 1

There are about about 100 varieties of edible potatoes. They are often classified as either mature potatoes (the large potatoes that we are generally familiar with) and new potatoes (those that are harvested before maturity and are of a much smaller size).

Fact 2

They originated in the Andean mountain region of South America between 4,000 and 7,000 years ago and were introduce to Europe by Spanish explorers who “discovered” them in the 16th century.

Fact 3

At first many people in Europe were suspicious of them because they were not mentioned in the Bible and some others thought they were poisonous.

Fact 4

It is thought that potatoes were brought to the U.S. by Irish immigrants in the 18th century, but they didn’t become popular until the 19th century.


Fact 5

An historical event centered around them when in 1845 and 1846, a blight ruined most of the potato crop in Ireland and caused major devastation: this event is known as the Irish Potato Famine

Fact 6

Analysis of Red and Norkotah potatoes revealed that these spuds’ phenolic content rivals that of broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts, and includes flavonoids with protective activity against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers.

fact 7

UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressure-lowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes.

Fact 8

A cup of baked potato contains 21.0% of the daily value of vitamin B6, which is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions.

Fact 9

Vitamin B6 plays numerous roles in our nervous system, many of which involve neurological activity.

Fact 10

A single baked potato will also provide you with 11.7% of the daily value for fiber, but remember that the fiber in potatoes is mostly in their skin.