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More Than Just a Purple Potato

Although potato growers, large grocery chains and potato processors continue to meet the consumer’s insatiable appetite for fries and chips, the consumption value of all potato varieties is being lost in the bin. When the potato was given a bad reputation in the high protein diet craze, consumers began to move to other starches. Recently, the industry has attempted to prompt a new conversation about the nutritional value of the humble spud….

Understanding the Potato’s Appeal

A graph of table potato consumption per capita in Canada over the past 20 years plainly illustrates a stark reality: the average Canadian today consumes just 22.2 kilograms of fresh potatoes per year, barely more than half the 42.7 kilograms an average Canadian consumed two decades ago. The decline in per capita consumption is a serious and ongoing concern, and a priority for the potato industry to continue working to mitigate. That…

Expanding Markets for Canadian Potatoes

The federal government is providing more than $274,000 to help expand markets for Canadian potatoes. This project, funded under the Growing Forward 2, AgriMarketing Program, provides the Canadian Horticultural Council with up to $274,714 to help grow foreign and domestic markets for Canadian potatoes, through trade shows, targeted advertising, incoming missions, market research and development, and product promotion. According to a news release, the investment is part of the federal government’s plan…

“Uglies” – potato chips from waste potatoes

Pennsylvania-based potato chip maker Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips, has launched a new variety of chip: Uglies. The company introduced the new chips at the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show, which was held Jan. 7-14 in Harrisburg. According to the company, the goal of the new brand of chips is to help reduce food waste, and save everyone money. “This new brand is using potatoes that farmers would likely be throwing away due to minor…

Public trust in Canada’s food system

“Very serious” – that’s how United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) general manager Kevin MacIsaac describes the issue of lost public trust in Canadian agriculture. “We have to approach this in the same way we would deal with issues of food safety and other key issues,” he says, “because it will eventually lead to declines in consumption of certain foods if people do not trust the source.” John Bareman, chair of the Canadian…

Niche potatoes boost potato demand in Sweden

Potato demand in Sweden has been on the rise in the last two years, despite seeing some setbacks in 2010-2011 when reports about the GI (Glycemic Index) were flooding the news, causing consumers to think twice about how potatoes fit into a healthy lifestyle. “It was really tough there for a while when all of the GI reports came out, but I am happy to say that the future is looking a…

New varieties with spark

Improving mashed potatoes is no easy feat, but breeders around the world are doing just that. At the Ontario Potato Board’s annual field day in August, several new table stock varieties were unveiled to a large crowd of growers, industry personnel and researchers. By far the variety garnering the most interest was Electra, a large round, yellow-skinned and yellow-fleshed variety developed by IPM Potato Group of Ireland. Introduced in Canada by Real…

Expensive potato chips

A Swedish brewery has crafted the most expensive potato chip in the world: $56 for a set of five — $11.20 apiece. “We felt that we were missing a snack of the same status to serve with [our beer]. A first-­class beer deserves a first-­class snack, and this is why we made a major effort to produce the world’s most exclusive potato chips,” St. Erik’s brand manager Marcus Friari said. The chips…

PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is holding its annual Fresh Summit Convention & Expo Oct. 14-16 in Orlando, Florida. Connect with more than 20,000 attendees and 1,100+ exhibitors from over 60 countries. Meet with experts, leaders and decision makers from every link of the supply chain. And see how today’s bright ideas are reshaping tomorrow’s produce and floral landscape. “Fresh Summit is more than a trade show – it’s the global produce…

Breakthrough ‘Spud’ Offers Canadians Important Health Benefits

Health-conscious food lovers now have more choice in the produce aisles, with the arrival of the Carisma potato from EarthFresh Farms. New to Canada and Ontario-grown, Carisma has been found to have a lower glycemic response (GR),* meaning it does not cause the rapid spike in blood sugar that normally comes from eating carbohydrate-rich foods. Farmed from traditional seed and without the use of biotechnology, this non-GMO potato is a desirable choice…

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