As we’ve established, I love potatoes more than most humans. Do you really know who they are, though? I figured if me, the potato connoisseur, had never heard of these amazing facts, they were worth passing along! Since you’re probably all dying of curiosity, here they are:
1. Potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in space! Due to a partnership formed between NASA and the University of Wisconsin (!) – Madison, seed potatoes were tested in space in 1995 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. NASA technology and a Chinese potato growing technique paired up to grow Quantum Tubers. This advanced method can produce a crop of mini-tubers every 40 to 50 days, rather than taking a year to grow. One facility can produce 10 to 20 million mini-tubers a year!
2. The average American eats about 124 pounds of potatoes per year, while Germans eat about twice as much. My German heritage probably plays an integral part in why I consume more potatoes than the average bear, and the average American.
3. The original potato chips were probably made by mistake. Before the year 1853, the world was a sad, sad place. In 1853, it is rumored that Chef George Crum created potato chips in a move to spite railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt. As the story goes, Vanderbilt disliked thick-cut potatoes. One day, he decided to send his thickly cut potatoes back to the kitchen. In the midst of his annoyance with this move, Crum thinly sliced the potatoes, fried them in oil, and sent them back out to Vanderbilt. Supposedly, Vanderbilt loved them, which led to the eventual popularity of chips today.
4. Sweet potatoes are no potatoes at all. If there was ever a reason to dislike sweet potatoes even more, I believe I just found it. Sweet potatoes are actually part of the morning glory family, and are just swollen roots. They bear no relation to the actual potato, making them gross liars.
5. If you ever needed more of a reason to love potatoes, they are good for more than just eating. Rumor has it that by carrying a potato with you , you could prevent rheumatism AND soothe a toothache. They can also heal broken bones, ease frostbite, and clear up blemishes on people’s skin. People have even used potatoes to tell time, based upon how long the root took to cook. Potatoes are amazing in every way, hands down.