With more potassium than a banana, potatoes are an excellent choice for your dinner plate. Potatoes are high in fiber and packed full of energy to fuel your body and brain throughout the day.
While a common myth may lead you to believe that all of these nutrients are only found in the skin of the potato, the thought is exactly that — a myth. According to the national potato marketing and research organization, Potatoes USA, the majority of the nutrients are found within the potato itself. The only nutrient significantly lost when the skin is removed is fiber.
Regardless of the potato variety, all potatoes are nutritious. Though type and amounts of nutrients may vary slightly depending on the variety, these differences are minimal. All potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin B6. These vitamins help to strengthen our immune system and metabolize fats and proteins.
And the best part? There are countless ways to enjoy a potato! My favorites include hash browns with breakfast, German potato salad with lunch, and sliced, roasted potatoes with supper.
When you head to the store to shop for your next potato recipe, be sure to choose Wisconsin potatoes. As a leading potato-producing state, Wisconsin is known for both the quantity and quality of our potatoes. A combination of progressive farming practices, state-of-the-art storage facilities, and world-class research all helps our spuds stand out above the rest. Whether you need a potato for baking, mashing, roasting, steaming, slow cooking, grilling, frying or even blanching, Wisconsin has a spud for you.
Wisconsin is also the home to the Healthy Grown brand of potatoes, the only potato of its kind to be grown using best practices in integrated pest management and water conservation. Participating farmers work with ecologists, conservationists and university researchers to use and find better, less-invasive ways to manage pests, prevent erosion, and conserve quality water. Through this program, potatoes are grown with a “whole farm” approach, as farmers work to protect their land and the local wildlife.
Potato growers all across the state of Wisconsin are enlisting progressive farming techniques to propel their farms into the future. Planting and harvesting equipment equipped with GPS technology helps growers optimize planting efficiency and fuel consumption. Computer-based irrigation scheduling conserves water, and variety rotation preserves soil nutrients. These sustainable techniques help farmers ensure their farmland will be viable for generations to come.
With over 67,000 acres of potatoes harvested in Wisconsin in 2017, we are proud to be a potato powerhouse. Wisconsin is a leader in the development of new potato varieties, sustainable growing practices, and produce traceability initiatives. On average, potatoes generate 352 million dollars for our state’s economy annually!
So the next time you are looking to power-up your day with a local food source, consider a Wisconsin potato. You can learn more about Wisconsin potatoes varieties, their health benefits, and recipes for healthy potato dishes at eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.
Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin can be reached at DATCP, 2811 Agriculture Drive, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53718 or DATCPAlice@wisconsin.gov.