Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I only have eyes for you

Over the weekend, I peeled a potato, and smeared it all over the windshield of our Nissan Altima. Details of exactly WHY I did that can be found at the link below:

this spud’s for you

The short version, though is this:

The chemicals in potatoes are similar to the chemicals found in Rain-X, so the coating of spuds on the windshield will help repel rain and snow more effectively. Since we also have managed to pick up some minor scratches in our new windshield from our new wiper blades, my thought process was that the stuff might prevent further damage to the windshield.

There’s loads of information about potatoes on Wikipedia, but the following items would be of most interest to you:

1) The potato is the world’s 4th largest food crop, after maize, wheat, and rice.

2) The potato originated in Peru between 7000 and 10,000 years ago, and was first exported to Europe about 400 years ago.

3) There are approximately 1000 different types of potatoes

4) The world’s largest producer of potatoes is China, and India is #2. Russians drink a lot of vodka, so Russia and the Ukraine weigh in at #3 and #4, respectively. The United States is #5.

5) The average person consumes 73 pounds of potatoes a year.

Potatoes contain numerous vitamins and minerals, but lag behind every other staple food in 32 out of 33 nutritional categories. As a result, the Irish people in the 19th century, who relied heavily on the potato as a food source, weren’t eating a particularly healthy diet even BEFORE the potato blight first hit the country in 1845, which led to the Great Famine.

Sharon and I eat a lot of potatoes, and she always insists of buying Idaho potatoes. Idaho IS the largest potato producer in the country, but the crop is also grown in at least 8 other states.

Idaho, though, has the best tasting potatoes, for the following reason:

1) Potatoes grow best in climates where the daytime temperature does not exceed 80 degrees. Southern Idaho’s high attitude and northern latitude is an ideal location, and helps produce large, healthy potatoes.

2) When the summer temperature at night drops below 55 degrees (as it does frequently in Southern Idaho) the sugars from the leaves flow down towards the potatoes themselves, which leads to good taste.

3) Potatoes need lots of water, but are very susceptible to diseases that frequently come with heavy rains. Southern Idaho is a dry climate, which necessitates aggressive irrigation, which results in most less exposure to plant disease.

Needless to say, potatoes are a very good business for Idaho, and have provided a VERY NICE living for a man named J.R. Simplot. At the time of his death in 2008 (at 99 years old) he was worth $3.2 billion, and the business that he founded continues to operate today.

Since Idaho allegedly has the best potatoes, you’d think that McDonalds would make all its fries from Idaho potatoes, but that’s not the case. Washington State has a climate similar to southern Idaho. The largest suppliers of potatoes to McDonalds are Frank Martinez, of Warden, Washington, and Jenn Bunger, of Pasco, Washington.

Although potatoes ARE a nutritious food, it’s very important NOT to eat the EYES of the potato, which are the sprouts that form on potatoes after they’ve been around a while. The sprouts contain elevated levels of glycoalkaoid poisons. If ingested in large enough quantities, you may experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Unless you eat 4 pounds of potatoes at one sitting, however, you’re not likely to experience these symptoms.

The song, “I only have eyes for you” , was first recorded in 1934 by a man named Ben Selvin, but it’s been covered by NUMEROUS artists since that time. The version that most “baby boomers” are familiar with was recorded by The Flamingos in 1959:

give me that old time music

Art Garfunkel also recorded a very nice version in 1975. It was at the top of the UK singles charts for a couple of weeks, and was his first hit as a solo artist in the Uk: just another old fashioned love song

As you’re enjoying your dinner this evening, I just have one question for you:

Do you want fries with that?

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