Potatoes: The Real Story
Wikipedia Article that is ABSOLUTLEY TRUE!
The potato is an evil creature from mars. They like to squeeze people (with there tentacles) until they pop. Do not eat one if you are under the age of 1 million. Ask your doctor about potatos. If you don't they will find you at night in your nice little warm, comfortable, cozy bed. Oh you'll just think it's another pillow, but NO, ITS WILL START SUCKING YOUR BRAINS! Oh your head justs itchy so reach to scratch your head and...BLACKNESS!
Look the potato may be evil, but the Sweet Potato is evilerer! It says sweet, but it is the opposite! You know, kind of like when that viking tricked the other vikings into believing that Greenland was green and Iceland was icey. The Sweet Potato was introduced after a horrible mutation in Germany. Some liquid nfgurgiono fell on a sack of potatoes to make the Sweet Potato! That was supposed to be his lunch, so now he needed money. He opened a place called "The Potato Palace". He didn't get much buisiness until the emperor of Lithuania came and had a Sweet Potato. It was horrifiyingly delicious (to his delusional mind). He ended up ruling the whole entire world (for a day), and forced everyone to eat Sweet Potatoes. Soon these "creatures" spread like the Swine Flu all across the world. It ended up right on YOUR PLATE!
Of course, you wake up in Switzerland on a nurse's bed. "Just vistele ned sa vi kan fa potatisen av du," says a nurse. "Where am I?". "Vad? Jag forstar inte," she replies. Its no use. You still feel the pain on the back of your head. "Det enda sattet att fa potatisen av din hjarna ar infora en sot Potatis," she calmly says. What you do not know is that she just said," The only wayt to get the potato off your brain is to introduce a Sweet Potato." You open your eyes to see a Sweet Potato, jaws open, horrible smelling skin, and for some reason a duck on fire. That is when THE EPIC BATTLE BEGAN!
ATTACK! SMASH! DESTROY! The whole hospital is ON FIRE! Your brain still feels numb even though the potato is off. The fire spread mostly because of the duck running around everywhere. ALL OF SWITZERLAND IS ON FIRE! I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS, AND I ALSO DO NOT KNOW WHY I AM TYPING IN CAPS! THE POTATO BATTLE RAGED ON, AND DESTROYED ALL OF SWITZERLAND. THE KING OF SWITZERLAND ASKED OBAMA TO HELP, WHO INTURN ASKED THE PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA TO HELP, WHO INTURN A THE EMPEROR OF GREAT BRITTANEY OR SOMETHING TO HELP, WHO INTURN ASKED THE EMPEROR OF LITHUANIA, WHO ASKED THE CHEF WHO CREATED THE SWEET POTATOES TO HELP. HE KNEW HE WOULD HAVE TO DESTROY WHAT HE CREATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But first he went to Seaworld. It's not what you think! he went to get the secret weapon!
BBBBOOOOMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!! TTTTHHHHEEEE CCCHHHEEEFFF MMMMAAAADDDDEEE HHHIIISSS WWWAAAYYY UUUPPP TTTOOO TTTTHHHEEE SSSWWWEEETTT PPPOOOTTTAAATTTOOO AAANNNDDD TTTHHHEEE RRREEEGGGUUULLAAARRR PPPOOOTTTAAATTTOOO!!!!!! AAALLL OOOFFF TTTHHHEEE VVVIIIBBBRRRAAATTTIIIOOONNNSSS OOOFFF TTTHHHEEE BBBAAATTTLLLE MMMAAAADDDDEEE IIITTTT HHHAAARRRDDD TTTOOO TTTAAALLLKKK!!!!! HHHEEE PPPPUUUULLLEEEDDD OOOUUUTTT TTTTHHHEEE CCCOOOTTTOOONNN CCCAAANNNDDDYYY AAANNNDDD SSSMMMAAACCCKKKEEEDDD TTTHHHEEE SSSWWWEEETTT PPPOOOTTTAAATTTOOO... The Sweet Potato let out a horrible scream and blew up causing a very loud explosion that shook the entire earth. this was a very emotional moment for him, so all his words repeated three times like in sad war movies.
"NO NO NO!!! THIS THIS THIS CAN'T CAN'T CAN'T BE BE BE HAPPENING HAPPENING HAPPENING!!! MY MY MY BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL CREATION CREATION CREATION WAS WAS WAS DESTROYED DESTROYED DESTROYED!!!!"
"You do know that there are at least a billion more all across the globe," a police officer said, as he handcuffed the chef. The officer haulded him into a truck that said "Mental Hospital" on it.
" I will get my revenge on you," the chef yelled.
"No ,Adolf Hitler, you won't," the Jewish policeman replied.
All the sudden your eyes jump out of your scokets and you realize you traveled back in time. You wake up in your bed and realize it was all a dream... until your hand feel the back of your head is missing! Now all you children know never to eat potatoes AGAIN! Also, stay away from ducks on fire.
Potatoes were first cultivated in the Andes Mountains over 7,000 years ago. Spanish conquistadors discovered potatoes in 1537 in what is now Peru. The Incas had cultivated them for centuries, with evidence dating back to the second century A.D. The Spaniards introduced potatoes in Europe as a new food crop. Three centuries later, potatoes’ importance in the diet of some European countries became evident when blight destroyed much of the Irish potato crop in 1845/46 and widespread famine ensued. As many as 2.5 million people perished from starvation and disease while approximately another million immigrated to the United States.
Potatoes were introduced to North America in the 18th century via Irish immigrants, however their native home is South America. Over the next two centuries, Americans increasingly incorporated potatoes into their diet as a staple food; hence the saying “meat and potatoes.” Potatoes have been a staple in the diets of Americans for over 300 years, but they have been sustaining populations worldwide for much longer. The importance of potatoes to U.S. agriculture was demonstrated in 1866 by their inclusion in the first USDA crop production statistics. Today, the United States ranks fourth worldwide in potato production behind China, Russia, and India.
Ninety percent of U.S. potatoes are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. The marketing season for fall potatoes begins in July (for areas of early harvest) and continues through June of the following year. Unlike most produce crops, which are perishable, potatoes are well-suited for long-term storage in climate-controlled rooms or containers.
Because of their physical characteristics and storage advantages, many major fall-season potato varieties can be sold in the fresh or processing markets throughout the marketing year. Potatoes for fresh use are sold mostly on the open market (as opposed to contract production prior to the growing season), so prices are subject to market conditions. The ability of shippers to store potatoes allows them greater flexibility when marketing potatoes on the open market.
Processing potatoes, such as the Russet Burbank for French fries, are typically contracted to commercial fryers before planting time. The contracts specify the potato variety, volume, and price based on quality requirements. Since growers arrange financing and purchase potato seed prior to spring planting, contracts with processors are negotiated and signed before then.
Potatoes harvested in the winter, spring, and summer account for only 10 percent of U.S. potato production. However, these potatoes meet different or specific market needs and generally fetch higher prices than fall potatoes. For example, some consumers like “new” or “freshly dug” potatoes, such as round white, red, yellow, and purple varieties that are smaller in size and are normally not stored before sale. In addition, specialty varieties such as the round white are in demand for their chipping qualities. Moreover, winter, spring, and summer potatoes help fill any supply gaps that may arise due to shortages of the preceding fall crop in the fresh market or for processing use.
An American potato farmer grosses $2,000 on average per acre in potato sales from all four crop seasons. Sales per acre are normally highest for the winter crop and lowest for fall potatoes, but vary widely between producing States. Prices for fresh potatoes are usually higher than prices for processing potatoes due to crop-quality standards. Domestic potato prices may change not only in response to changes in weather, yield, or demand, but also to changes in supply from imported potatoes and potato products. If a surge of frozen French fries enters the country, U.S. potato processors may cut back on contracts for processing potatoes, which would be diverted to the fresh market. Fresh-market prices would likely fall as a result.
Potatoes were grown largely in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio before Americans migrated westward in the late 19th century. Michigan and Wisconsin became major potato producers in the early 1900s, and Maine in the 1920s. Growers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, and California expanded production after refrigerated rail and truck transport opened markets beyond the Western States. Later, potato-processing plants and exports also expanded the market, and the emergence of fast-food outlets across the United States increased demand for Russet Burbank potatoes as French fries.
Western States produce two-thirds of the fall potatoes, with Idaho and Washington accounting for half of the U.S. total. Yields per acre are highest in Oregon, Washington, and California. Between 1866, when USDA first gathered statistics on potatoes, and the early 1920s, production increased with expanding acreage, reaching a peak of 3.9 million planted acres in 1922. Acreage slowly declined thereafter to around 1.1 million acres today, yet production continued to rise as yields trended upward.
Average yields prior to the 1920s were around 50 hundredweight (cwt) per acre. In the 1920s, Luther Burbank made vast improvements in potato breeding, leading to the development of the Russet Burbank, which remains the principal U.S. variety. By the 1940s, yields grew from improvements in breeding, increased use of chemical fertilizers, and the shift of production to Western States with excellent potato-growing soil as well as extensive irrigation. U.S. yields now average around 400 cwt per acre for fall potatoes.
Trends in Potato Use: From Fresh to Fries
Since the 1950s, the share of the U.S. potato crop used for processing has steadily grown. In 1959, only 19 percent of potatoes were processed while fresh use dominated potato utilization. In the 21st century, fresh use accounts for less than a third of production sold. The volume of frozen potatoes consumed, dominated by French fries, is now larger than the volume of fresh potatoes consumed. The rest of potato production is processed into potato chips or dehydrated into other products.
The growth of the U.S. foodservice sector has driven the shift toward frozen potato use. In 2005, U.S. per capita use of frozen potatoes was 56 pounds per year, compared with 45 pounds for fresh potatoes, 17 pounds for potato chips, and 16 pounds for dehydrated products. Average per capita value, including net imports, amounted to $8.10 per year, of which half ($4) was for processed potatoes.
Availability, Selection, and Storage
Potatoes are grown across the United States and are available year round. Store potatoes in a cool, dry place. Sunlight can cause the skin to turn green; if this occurs the skin must then be peeled off before consuming. Most of the nutrients are contained right below the skin, so avoid peeling when possible. Besides fresh potatoes, other forms are often available as well, including:
- Refrigerated pre-cut fresh potatoes
- Frozen potatoes
- Canned potatoes
- Dehydrated potatoes
When choosing potatoes, be sure they are firm, smooth, and the color they are supposed to be. Softness, a green tinge, or wrinkly skin may indicate a potato that is past its prime.
Potatoes should be thoroughly washed with clean tap water and scrubbed lightly before preparation. Any sprouts or eyes growing from the potato should be cut out. The skin can be removed or left on depending on use. Common methods of preparation include boiling, baking, microwaving, mashing, frying and grilling. Consuming baked and grilled potatoes with the skin left on provides the most nutrients.
The Potato council has started a competition called Master Spud where they are looking for healthy dish made using potatoes as the main ingredient. The winner will feature in a national TV advert alongside Jean Christophe Novelli. Check out the video for more details.thumb|300px|right|Potato Council cookery competition