Potatoes Should Not be Scorned

Ever since people started dieting, the potato has been scorned. People blame their weight problems on this starchy vegetable, but in all likelihood that was probably not the cause. The potato is the most important food in history and is still important today. Potatoes have been around for thousands of years and can grow just about anywhere. In fact according to History Magazine the potato has the "ability to provide more nutritious food faster on less land than any other food crop, and in almost any habitat."

Once potatoes became popular they saved many countries from starvation. Potatoes provide almost all nutritional needs. Potatoes only lack calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D. Combine potatoes with milk and you have provided your body with complete nutrition. Unfortunately, as the world discovered during the Ireland Potato Famine, it is best for everyone if they do not rely entirely on one or two foods. But this nutritional information shows just how wonderful potatoes are.

Many people blame weight problems on eating too many carbohydrates. While potatoes do contain carbohydrates, if eaten as part of a well balanced diet, they are not bad for you. In fact they are extremely good for you, providing lots of vitamin C and potassium that our bodies need to survive.

There are many people that are going hungry in the United States and throughout the world. It seems that countries have gotten away from eating potatoes. In an effort to combat the world's hunger problems rice is often shipped to poor countries and handed out. While this is all good, would it not be better if people were taught to grow potatoes? They will grow just about everywhere and you can save seed potatoes from year to year. Potatoes require very little work to produce a good crop and even children can plant and tend to them.

In the United States it is as if people have forgotten about potatoes as a good food. Poor people can't afford many of the fruits and vegetables offered in grocery stores and opt for highly processed boxed foods. If only they would invest that $2 in a large bag of potatoes they could feed their family much more nutritious meals for many days, compared to one meal out of a box.

Let's stop looking down on potatoes and start looking up to them. They could change many people's lives, just like they did centuries ago when they were first discovered. It isn't the potato that is bad for you; it is what you put on them and how you cook them. If you are looking to save money and eat a healthier diet, the potato might be your answer - it has helped people since before Christ and it could help you too.

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Comments 14 comments

Georgiakevin profile image

Georgiakevin 6 years ago from Central Georgia

I gave up wheat without too many problems but potatoes I can never give up!!!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

Jennifer, it is true that potatoes are an excellent source of very inexpensive calories, and it is better -- far better -- to live almost entirely on potatoes than to starve. Unfortunately, for people who are already overweight and nowhere close to starvation for lack of calories, they are not a good choice. All other things being equal (and minus hormonal conditions), if they eat the same number of calories and exercise the same, two people, one on a diet of primarily carbs and another on a diet of primarily fat and protein, the first will gain more weight. That's why in Poland under communism, people who were not starving looked unattractively plump. They had almost no meat in their diet - but instead of meat they were forced to substitute potatoes.


Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 6 years ago from Michigan

good post, there is no way I could give up potatoes. I don't have them everyday, but there is to many options to give up. thanks


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I love potatoes in every shape and form but only if they are organic. I think there is no food which is bad but just eat such portion and not all the time. Thank you for a fabulous hub.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

Great hub;potatoes are so versatile also and a great source of energy.They can even be grown in a tub in a small yard.


Jane@CM profile image

Jane@CM 6 years ago

Great hub. I love potatoes, so many recipes you can include them in!


Drakoras profile image

Drakoras 6 years ago from San Diego

Yes, I love potatoes. However they do turn to sugar, so diabetics can't really eat them.

Other than that, I agree.

I loves mashed taters, and hashbrowns.

And a great many indian dishes call for them.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I don't have potatoes real often and try to eat them without butter and little salt but there is no fat butter spray and throw herbs on top cubed or sliced and baked, very good or cooked under chicken with carrots etc is a good lowfat way too, if the chicken is lean. I have just peeled potatos with really thick peel that are getting sprouts about to go bad, eat the good part and throw those thick sprouty peels in a hole in the garden and guess what you get next summer> Yep >more potatos. All things in moderation,I hope I would never have to give them up. If bought as frozen fries I find the restaurant style usually have far less salt. LIke 25mg compared to 350 mg. Huge difference.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Potatoes are my favorite food. I love them prepared in all ways. My mom says this is because she could eat nothing else while pregnant with me. Fine article. Thanks.


Jen 6 years ago

You are correct that poor people would be much better off eating simple foods like the potato. I will often read articles like this and the comments always scoff at the suggestion, like potatoes and eggs and beans don't have this or that in them blah blah blah but believe me, poor people aren't exactly eating fresh spinach and organic blueberries. Poor people usually eat a diet of 99% garbage food and a diet of potatoes, eggs, and beans would be a huge step up, health-wise.


Jen 6 years ago

You are correct that poor people would be much better off eating simple foods like the potato. I will often read articles like this and the comments always scoff at the suggestion, like potatoes and eggs and beans don't have this or that in them blah blah blah but believe me, poor people aren't exactly eating fresh spinach and organic blueberries. Poor people usually eat a diet of 99% garbage food and a diet of potatoes, eggs, and beans would be a huge step up, health-wise.


Tony Ballatore profile image

Tony Ballatore 6 years ago

And it's fun to say poe tay toe too! It's even fun in other languages :-) 'patate,''patata', 'kartoffel' 'brambory', 'pataca' 'aardappel', 'krumpira', 'kartöflur', 'potet', 'ziemniaczanej', 'viazi', 'tatws', 'bulbe & kartofl', 'khoai tây', and my all time favorite (French) 'pomme de terre'. I always hear that Doo Wop song, 'Earth Angel' wafting through my mind when I read or hear the French.

Thanks, Jennifer. I'm glad I stumbled upon you well written and interesting piece.

BTW: My Irish half agrees with my Sicilian half that the language that best gives accent to the word potato is Irish: 'prátaí'

Tony :-)


swtwin2 profile image

swtwin2 6 years ago from South Carolina

Great details! The homeschool mom in me is storing them away for just the right teaching moment.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Positive about potatoes--bravo! I would like to link this hub to my mashed potato recipe hub. Please let me know if you have any objection.

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