Feed the World with Potatoes
1. As food prices continue to rise rapidly,there is growing concern about the effect it will have among the world’s poor.
2. Increasingly, experts are looking to thepotato as a possible low-cost solution to feeding the hungry. To emphasize the issue, the United Nations has called the potato “a hidden treasure” and named 2008 the International Year of the Potato. Here’s how potatoes could end the food crisis.
3. The potato matures more quickly, on less land and in harsher climate than most other major crops. Up to 85 percent of the plant is eatable, compared with around 50 percent of cereals. Its broad adaptability to a wide variety of farming systems is also note worthy.
4. Potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which is release their energy slowly, and have only 5 percent of wheat’ s fat content. They contain only a quarter of the calories of bread and,according to the Potato Center, when boiled, potatoes have more protein and nearly twice the calcium as corn. Additionally, they are good source of vitamin C, iron, potassium(钾)and zinc(锌).
5. The food and Agriculture Organization recently surveyed food price inflation in over 70 of the poor countries. Cereal price inflation was much higher and far more widespread than for potatoes. A significant factor behind the potato’ s affordability is the fact that unlike other agriculture products, the potato is not yet a global commodity, and has therefore not attracted speculative investors. Raw potatoes are heavy and carrot during transmit, so global trade has been show to take off. Also, potatoes are susceptible(易受影响的) to infection with disease, hindering(阻碍) export. According to analysts’ estimates, less than 5 percent of potatoes are traded internationally, with prices driven primarily by local tastes instead of international demand.
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