With World Food Day events and Harvest Festival assemblies happening all over the country, food is the piping hot topic at the moment. I have taken the occasion to become better acquainted with the humble potato, the world's fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize, and I thought I’d share some s-mash-ing facts.
1. Brits are the 3rd largest consumer of the potato in Europe after the Portuguese and Irish.
2. Our friend the potato became the first food to be grown in space in 1995, on board the Columbia shuttle.
3. The world’s biggest potato was grown in Germany in 1997 and was 3.2kg. This is big enough to make 73 portions of French fries!
4. The Inca people in Peru were growing potatoes as long as 7000 years ago.
5. Every year enough potatoes are grown worldwide to cover a four lane motorway circling the world six times!
With such an interesting history, it’s no wonder the potato is loved by so many. They are cheap, environmentally friendly, easy to grow and, with 4000 different varieties, they are a fantastic crop for people to grow who suffer adverse conditions.
Irene (14) is from Kituti village in the Kibuku District in Uganda, and this is a harvest of sweet potatoes from her family’s garden. Irene's family are members of an ActionAid Reflect Circle seed bank in their village.
Reflect Circles empower communities across Uganda to claim their rights. At the Reflect Circle seed bank in Kibuku, members store food and organise into farmers' cooperatives in order to better access markets and to ensure food security in the community.
That’s what I call potato power!
If you would like further resources about food to use with your class, download our free World Food Day PowerPoint resource.