Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Potatoes Tomorrow

I got up unusually early at the start of the week, as I needed to prepare for a busy day at work.

This caused me to listen to a programme on the radio that I never normally hear, Farming Today which is broadcast at 5.45 am and as the title suggests is aimed at those with an interest in farming !

An item that really caught my attention was about potatoes. Apparently the humble potato is the highest yielding crop around (in terms of energy) and beats rice and wheat in this.

While people in this country may get rather hung up about whether their house is falling in value, there are many people around the world who have more pressing concerns like where is their next meal coming from. With food prices surging in the face of an ever growing population, demand for biofuel and various bouts of unfavourable weather, it seems unlikely that the fall the Haitian Prime Minister due to food riots will be the last casualty of this situation.

With this in mind, it was interesting to hear that the potato has fallen in popularity in recent years as people favour more wheat based foods.

However in a time of austerity and potential hunger it seems we would be wise to think more about potatoes. They yield more, require no real processing other than cooking before eating and apparently come in over 80 varieties or different tastes and qualities.

I for one plan to start planting some potatoes. For us it may be a hobby that yield some pesticide free food and saves a little on the food bill. For others the potato with its ability to grow in many environments may be a real life line.

2 comments:

cw-patriot said...

An excellent commentary, Luis!

Taking a snippet of something you heard on the radio and drawing some very interesting and important conclusions and conjectures ... I'm afraid most people here in modern America have lost the ability to do that kind of connect-the-dots thinking.

I also think that growing some of one's own food is an excellent idea these days, and I'm glad to hear you'll be planting potatoes (to which I am very partial, by the way, since two of my grandparents immigrated here from Ireland in the early 1900s.) :)

Good luck with your future potato crop!

~ joanie

Luis said...

Thank you Joanie.

I will update on progress in due course.

Although with your heritage perhaps I should be taking lessons from you :-)