- A medium-sized potato has no fat, no cholesterol and contains only 110 calories!
- Sodium Free – Low sodium diets help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
- Vitamin C — Don't just think of oranges anymore as a great source of Vitamin C! By eating one medium sized potato, you will receive 45% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C — a great antioxidant.
- More Potassium than Bananas! A medium-sized potato contains 18% of the recommended daily value of potassium - essential for maintaining proper muscle function.
- Good Source of Fiber – The 3g of fiber in one medium-sized potato is 8% of the recommended daily value. Diets high in fiber are beneficial for a healthy digestive system and may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Consuming adequate fiber also makes you feel fuller, helping to reduce snacking between meals.
- Less Than 10% of the Daily Value of Carbohydrates – A medium-sized potato contains 26g of carbohydrates, only 9% of the recommended daily value. Complex carbohydrates are a great source of energy for the body.
- A Great Antioxidant – Potatoes have one of the highest overall antioxidant activity among vegetables. Antioxidants protect key cell components by neutralizing the damaging effects of "free radicals." Potatoes also contain glutathione, an antioxidant that may help protect against some cancers.
Make potatoes a part of your 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables!
Annual Potato Yearbook
The Annual Potato Yearbook provides overviews of national legislative, regulatory and marketing initiatives—along with U.S. potato production, consumption data and trade data, grower and industry contact information, position statements, and program overviews.
How did the humble spud rise to prominence as the fifth most important crop worldwide after wheat, corn, rice and sugar cane? At times welcomed blessing for famine-plagued peoples or suspicious novelty, the potato has a long history that crisscrossed the world.
The Early Potato
The potato is thought to have been first domesticated by the Andeans of South America as early as 500 B.C. The Inca grew thousands of varieties of potatoes and held the potato in high esteem.
Introduction to Europe
Following the arrival of Spaniards to the region in 1532, potatoes were introduced to France and the Netherlands. European farmers were reportedly intrigued and mystified by this unfamiliar vegetable. King Frederick the Great of Prussia as well as King Louis XVI and nutritional chemist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier of France championed the potato for their famine-starved populaces.
Popularity of the Potato
The potato grew in popularity across Europe as farmers discovered that they could produce potatoes on a large scale and on fallow grain land. The potato also provided relatively inexpensive calories and nutrients, leading to it becoming a staple crop by the end of the 18th century. Ireland came to rely so heavily on the potato for food that a rapidly spreading late blight decimating the potato crop caused one of the deadliest famines in history.
Potatoes in the United States
The first potatoes arrived in the American colonies in 1621 when Nathaniel Butler, the Governor of Bermuda, sent potatoes and other vegetables to the governor of Virginia, Francis Wyatt. They did not become widely grown until 1719, when they were planted in New Hampshire, and later across the country.
For more information:
- The History of Potatoes – Potatoes: Goodness Unearthed
Learn about the origins of the humble potato and how it arrived in the United States.
- How the Potato Changed the World - Smithsonian magazine, November 2011
Brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, the lowly potato gave rise to modern industrial agriculture.
- History of Potatoes – Linda Stradley - What's Cooking America
Follow the history of the potato from the 5th century B.C. to the modern day.
- History of the Potato - Wikipedia
Discover the potato’s journey as it crisscrossed the world.
- Potato Types - There are more sizes, colors and flavor profiles of potatoes today than ever before.
- Buying and Storing Potatoes - Learn more about the proper way to buy and store potatoes.
- Cooking Potatoes - Read about the best practices for cooking potatoes.