3 Facts About Potatoes That Are Completely Surprising

By Martin B

Potatoes are a popular and widely consumed food crop around the globe. Though they are excellent when fried or mashed, potatoes have some interesting applications and history. Below are some interesting facts about the humble potato.

Source: @philhearing/Unsplash

Potato flowers

The nightshade family includes the potato’s genus Solanum tuberosum, whose blossoms can be various shades of pink, white, purple, blue, or red. King Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette wore potato flowers in their hair in the mid-1700s to encourage their impoverished citizens to grow the new food that the Spaniards had introduced to Europe.

This led to the French aristocracy developing a taste for potato bouquets, but the strategy ultimately backfired since the working class rejected the higher class’s attempts to convince them to grow the crop.

Electricity from potatoes

Start hoarding potatoes today if you are in a pinch or you’re a survivalist for the end of the world. With one tuber, some cables, and a few other ‘ingredients,’ you can run a small electronic device like a clock or a light bulb.

Try “space” gardening with potatoes

Potatoes were the first crop to be successfully produced in space in 1995. In an experiment led by Raymond Bula, five leaves of the Norland type of potato were grown in microgravity. From their base in Wisconsin, the scientist and his team kept tabs on the space shuttle’s progress thanks to regular communications with NASA.

Source: @polina-tankilevitch/Pexels

Everyone was relieved to see that the plants had not only lived through the shuttle ride home but had actually flourished and produced potatoes.