Traits and Genetics
Keeping potatoes healthy
Thanks to the power of technology, curated news is delivered straight to my inbox each day, making it easy for me to keep up with the latest trends, technologies and happenings in the world of agriculture.
Admittedly, the system is a bit flawed, as some of the potato-related headlines aren’t the exact type of news I’m after. Without fail, a new recipe featuring potatoes lands in my inbox, and although the dish may look and sound mouth-watering, it’s not the type of potato “news” we look for to share with readers of Potatoes in Canada.
However, when a story about an Australian man who ate nothing but potatoes throughout 2016 made headlines late last year, I couldn’t help but click the link. Andrew Taylor, a 36-year-old man from Melbourne, Australia, told the International Business Times he was addicted to food and at the end of 2015, he decided enough was enough. He resolved to find one healthy food he could eat every day and quit everything else. Taylor said he conducted considerable research and settled on potatoes because they provide a balanced source of nutrition. At the time of this writing, Taylor had reported losing a total of 52 kilograms, or 115 pounds. He said he plans to continue the diet, with a few modifications, into 2017 and has even dedicated a website – www.spudfit.com – to his journey.
Taylor maintains the challenge is not intended to be a weight loss program, and while this isn’t the type of news you’ll see covered in our pages, there’s a link between Taylor’s story and the research’s ongoing quest to find healthier potatoes. We’ve covered new varieties with added health benefits before – everything from potatoes with lower glycemic responses, to a potato extract that could do exactly what Taylor set out to do: fight obesity and help with other health issues. Perhaps Taylor’s story may bring more light to the benefits potatoes have to offer, which can only help potato scientists across Canada and the world continue their efforts to breed spuds with significant health benefits – a win-win, if you ask me.
In this issue of Potatoes in Canada, the focus shifts away from what the potato can do to keep you healthy, and more toward what you – and some of Canada’s top potato researchers – are doing to keep the potato healthy. As we approach another growing season, pest and disease concerns will soon be at the top of your mind. Make sure you're subscribed to our e-news, where we will send you a monthly newsletter outling the stories that matter to you most.
Whether your potato interests lie on the breeding side or the growing side, we hope you find valuable information among our stories. Best wishes for a safe and prosperous growing season.