The Importance of White Potatoes

Essay by hugeassUniversity, Master'sA, January 2007

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The potato is a crop from the nightshade family that is cultivated for its edible tubers. Americans refer to this crop as the "white potato" to distinguish it from the true sweet potato (Ipomea batatas). They are cultivated in almost every state, yet Idaho, Washington, Maine, California, North Dakota, Oregon, Minnesota, and Wisconsin account for nearly seventy-five percent of U.S. potato production (Ugent 465).

The potato bears many uses to improve the quality of life. In Europe, potatoes are used for human food as well as livestock feed. They are also manufactured into starch, flour, alcohol and distilled liquors. About fifty three different food products are derived from potatoes including French fries, potato chips, and dehydrated, pre-peeled, and canned potatoes (Dow 403). The white potato is rich in many nutrients. They contain forty percent more potassium than a banana ( Vitamins and minerals contained in one medium sized, boiled, unpeeled potato are as followed: 120 calories, 3 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 16 mg of calcium, 1 mg of iron, 22 mg of vitamin C, and 1.6

mg of niacin. Nutritionists claim that the consumption of five pounds of potatoes per day, along with one quart of milk will provide all the nutrients essential for the human diet (Ugent 465). A full table of nutritional information is shown below (

Nutrition Information Table

(for serving size of 148 grams)



Calories from Fat0

Total Fat0

Sodium0 mg

Potassium700 mg

Total Carbohydrates25 g

Dietary Fiber2 g

Protein3 g

Vitamin C10 %

Riboflavin2 %

Iron4 %

Vitamin B610 %

Thiamin6 %


Folic AcidUnavailable

Potatoes are not simply a crop of nourishment. They can also be used as an energy source. They are able to function as an electrolyte, providing the necessary voltage to power a simple LED clock...