Is potato the new (cheap) white starch?


Prices for the big carbohydrate commodities -- wheat, corn, rice -- have all exploded. But one starch remains relatively cheap: the potato. That's why the U.N. and agriculture scientists are starting to push the potato as the new cheap starch for the masses. Happy International Year of the Potato, everyone!

Potatoes have remained largely immune from the world commodity bubble. Partly, according to Popular Science Magazine, that's because they rot and don't ship so well. But there's still potato flour. Potatoes used to be mainly grown in developed countries, over the last few decades they've been catching on around the world. About one-third of all potatoes are grown in China or India.

When I was a kid in the 1970s, we treated the potato like a vegetable in our nutrition classes. Realizing that wasn't quite true was a tremendous blow and disillusionment, like realizing there isn't a Santa. But Peru's International Center for the Potato is hopeful the potato could be the answer to the developing world's food. Potatoes have lots of carbs, protein, fiber and vitamins -- especially if boiled with the skins on.