This week's box contained:
- San Marzano Tomatoes
- Garnet Sweet Potatoes
- Mystery (Anaheim Peppers)
- Red Beets
- Potatoes (Mixed)
I love eating potatoes. As you can see below, so does Sam. Having spent a few years in the low carb mindset, I always think twice when I get the urge. Potatoes are extremely versatile and can be amazingly satisfying, even prepared simply. But are they "worth" eating from the nutritional perspective? I did a bit of research...
Turns out potatoes are nutritious, sufficiently so that “Humans can subsist healthily on a diet of potatoes and milk; the latter supplies Vitamin A and Vitamin D.”  Potatoes are starchy, but their glycemic load is manageable, they are a good source of fiber, protein, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and a bevy of phytochemicals. The urban legend about all the nutrition being contained in the skins is not true; most nutrients are evenly distributed throughout the potato. They are easy to grow in a number of climates. Not that one would thrive on a diet of potatoes and milk alone or would choose this path, but it should be no surprise that potatoes are heros in some parts of the world.
Interestingly, potatoes -- along with tobacco, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers -- are members of the nightshade family, which can be toxic to humans. It is true that green potatoes are poisonous, though you'd have to eat quite a few to feel any ill effects. Other interesting potato facts include:
- Potatoes are the forth largest food crop worldwide.
- The United Nations named 2008 the “International Year of the Potato”
- The average person, again worldwide, eats 73 pounds of potatoes a year.
- There are over 5,000 varieties of potatoes, all seeming to genetically originate from southern Peru.
- Centro Internacional de la Papa (International Potato Center)
- Nutrition Data on red potatoes, raw, with skin
- Washington State Potato Foundation (love the URL: http://www.potatoes.com/)
- Idaho Potato Commission
- Colorado Potato Administrative Committee
- The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Potato
- Beyond Burlap: Idaho's Famous Potato Recipes
- The History and Social Influence of the Potato (Cambridge Paperback Library)
Needless to say, I decided to indulge. Lunch today was pesto potatoes, as follows:
Serves 2 as main, 4 as side
1 pound new potatoes, 1" dice
2T olive oil
Preheat oven to 425f. Toss potatoes with salt, then olive oil, and spread on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stir. Bake for another 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Stir in pesto, mix well and enjoy!
 Wikipedia, Potato, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato (August 2009).