Tribute To Potatoes


My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” ~Oprah Winfrey

The classic game, Hot Potato involves players gathering in a circle and tossing a small object to each other while music plays. When the music stops, the player with the “Hot Potato” steps out. In the real world today, who would even dare to give up one of those darling little foods? The potato is just one of the most delicious, nutritious, and most widely eaten foods on the planet. So next time that “Hot Potato” lands in the palm of your hands, don’t pass it around to the next person. If it is too hot to hold, just put it down on the table, pull out your fork and eat it right up!

Mr Potato Head: the sacred shrine that represents the entire incredible, edible race of potatoes. All potatoes must bow down to the all mighty leader, the Head. Okay, maybe not, but the point is that Mr. Potato head symbolized one of the most tasty, delectable foods that has made such a positive impact on our planet. Remember when you were little, watching the Toy Story movies? They had just come out, and they were a hit at the box office. It was one of my favorite movies when I was about five. In fact, I loved all of those classic Disney movies from the nineties. But this movie had one peculiar character; he might have not stood out so much, but just the idea of him made me giggle.  A plastic potato with removable facial features is more fun than a barrel of monkeys! Ever since I was little, I have always loved playing with food, and what could be better than making a funky fresh potato with sunglasses, a cap, and shoes. It turns out that I was all wrong to think that the legendary Mr. Potato head started with the release of Toy Story. It had actually become a hit way back in 1952 when Hasbro released it to the public so that children all around the world could enjoy playing with food! A fantastic idea. Not only fun for the children, but also great for fastidious parents that like their dinner table clear of food, but also like their kids to enjoy playing with comida.

potatoes

Meet the dream team: the crops that are like heroes to developing nations, because they are the most important crops on the planet. Humans consume these more than any other. They are the potato, the rice, the yam, and the corn. There are more that apply, but these are the most well-known of the crops. Anyway, just push aside the other three, because our main focus is on that funny guy with the beanie on the left: the potato. If you did not know, last year was the international year of the potato according to the Food and Agricultural Organization! Oh yeah, go taters! So that gave declaration of the rights to potatoes and all the other starchy edible tubulars because they totally dominate over all other crops. If you did not know, the potato is the number one non-grain food commodity, with 325 million tons grown in 2007. The potato is getting most of its global support from the developing nations. They chow down on almost half of all of the potatoes that are grown. Because the population is growing by a large number of people every year, the world needs some reliance on a source of food, and the potato is there to take that role, and become the super hero of the food industry. I remember learning in Hebrew school (I am Jewish) that in Hebrew, potato translates as tapuach adama, which literally means apple of the ground. I found this interesting, because it is as if saying that potato has all of the sweetness of an apple. Although it is not literally “sweet” it represents everything good because it is just such a help to all of humanity.

There are so many different ways to prepare the potato, and there are also thousands of different species of the potato to enjoy, and so there are endless possibilities to enjoy this amazing food. In the United States alone, only 33% of the potatoes are eaten fresh. 61% is processed into frozen products such as those Ore-Ida french fries or potato wedges, dried out and turned into potato chips, and turned into starch – all processes that remove the majority of the nutrients in the potato. the other 6% is used for replanting the seeds to grow more. In the United States, it really is a shame that a fewer number of people are eating the potatoes fresh. The consumption has declined from 22kg per person in 1999 to 16kg in 2006. Probably one of the most famous states for growing potatoes is Idaho. What is so important about Idaho when it comes to finding a perfect potato? Well, the potatoes grown in Idaho have a high solids content, so there’s more potato and less water. They also get that light and fluffy texture when you put them in your mouth. The soil in Idaho is very dense with nutrients, which makes those spuddies so darn tasty.

Potatoes are great when they are mashed, baked and fried, but did you know that they also can be used as batteries to power up a clock or a small LED light? Last year, I had to do an experiment to show that the potato could be used to power a small light. It turns out that it takes only about ten potatoes to make that light bulb start to spark with light. Me and my partner for the project had set up a system. We turned off the lights and connected to final wire.  To our amazement, there was a small flicker of light coming from the bulb. Unfortunately, we couldn’t present it to the class because we had to set it up from scratch at school. So after a week of research and collecting of supplies we had to start over and do origami instead. Anyway, I still remember how awesome it was to figure out that potatoes could really have the energy to light it up. It shows the amazing, perplexing power of the legendary Idaho potato. There are a lot of complex answers that neither me or my partner could decipher on why this works. The simple answer is that the potato contains a lot of phosphorous, which transmits the energy to the light bulb making it glow.  I may be 100% off on that answer, but that is the reason that I have come to know and love after that research attempt.

The potato is eaten all around the globe. It truly is a global food because almost every culture on the planet utilizes this stupendous crop. In case you were wondering where the great potato comes from, let’s pull out our history books and turn to page– no you don’t have to do that. The short version of that story is that the potato was eaten in the Andes for over 8 thousand years, and after the Spanish got a hold of it, they realized how awesome the potato was, and so they spread it far and wide across the rest of the globe. Thanks, guys! I don’t know what I would do without that potato on my plate!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Hawt job. (:

    I’ll comment again when I am on Mia’s lappy.

  3. Posted by jacknovozin on March 29, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Hey guys, am I an editor too?

  4. yeah you are

  5. Posted by jacknovozin on March 29, 2009 at 8:59 am

    o ok kool

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