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