Here are some fascinating facts about one of America’s favorite staples, potatoes.

•There are approximately 100 varieties of edible potatoes.

•Indians in Peru are credited with cultivating potatoes more than 4,000 years ago.

•Irish immigrants brought potatoes to America in the 1700s, but the vegetable didn’t gain popularity until the 1800s.

•There are potato crops in all fifty states in America.

•Potatoes represent the fourth largest crop in the world, eclipsed only by corn, wheat, and rice.

•In the Alaska Gold Rush in 1897, miners coveted potatoes for their Vitamin C content, offering to trade them for gold.

•In 1952, Mr. Potatohead was the first toy to be advertised on TV.

•Instant mashed potatoes were invented in 1955.

•Lettuce and potatoes are the most popular vegetables in America.

•When a potato is harvest, it contains about 80% water and 20% dry matter.

•In 2007, North America produced 25 million tons of potatoes.

•In 2005, North Americans ate about 60 kilograms of potatoes per person.

•In 2001, French fry consumption in the U.S. was an average of 28 pounds per person, with most of those fries being produced by fast food restaurants.

Jennifer CroftPotato Facts