Consumers, Trends

Potatoes won over skeptical but hungry Europeans

How important are potatoes? Pretty important. Not the most important: According to Smithsonian Magazine, potatoes rank fifth on the essential scale, following wheat, corn, rice and sugar cane. But even if more people today depend on wheat or corn for survival, potatoes have had a tremendous run: Historian William McNeill believes the potato’s capacity to feed rapidly growing European populations from 1750-1950 is what allowed a few Western nations to rule the world. Europeans were initially skeptical of the potato. But the potato’s contributions to the food supply ultimately won over the holdouts. More

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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