The Untold History of the Potato

The story of one of the world’s most important food crops.

From the first nomads travelling down the coast of the Americas nearly 15,000 years ago to the contemporary uses of potato starch in industrializing China, the story of the potato is both satisfying and fascinating. Consisting mainly of energy-giving carbohydrate, protein, vitamin C and potassium, potatos have been grown safely and cheaply underground in almost any weather and soil conditions, helping to fuel industrial revolution and population explosions. As global population swells and famine remains a constant risk, and environmental sustainability becomes ever more crucial, Reader asks what role the spud still has to play.

The familiar, ubiquitous potato is part of our sense of mundane normality, but its story is one of struggle, disease and survival. The Untold History of the Potato is a fascinating exploration of the biology, history and social influence of our most humble and versatile foodstuff.