Episode 18: Twisted History of Potatoes

Join Meredith as she discusses how the potato has built and brought down economies – from the King of France using potato flowers to mitigate flatulence, to the Potato Famine, to that one time the U.S. almost went to war over guano.

She actually says the words “The cool thing about potatoes is….” – and means it!

Links and Additional Content:

Cambridge World History of Food Interactive Timeline – Entry on Potatoes

How the Potato Changed the World by Charles C Mann via Smithsonian Magazine

This article is adapted from Mann’s book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

ISBN-10: 0307278247
ISBN-13: 978-0307278241

Potato History and Fun Facts

The Early History of the Potato by  J. G. Hawkes and J. Francisco-Ortega (paywall)

After 168 Years, Potato Famine Mystery Solved via The History Channel

Short biography of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier via Encyclopedia.com

The Flour War: Gender, Class, and Community in Late Ancient Regime French Society by Cynthia Bouton

ISBN-10: 027101055X
ISBN-13: 978-0271010557

The Truth About the Origin of the Potato Chip (background on urban legend that Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt inspired it)