The fast history of the potato.

It’s another link today. I promise MetaCookbook won’t become just a link-sharing spot, but I probably am going to increase the number of links I put out here to share with you guys.

This one came to me, I think, from Mark Bittman’s twitter feed. I don’t actually recall, though, because it’s been sitting on my computer waiting for me to read it for about a week.

It’s a fascinating and relatively quick history of the potato’s impact on agriculture. Called “How the Potato Changed the World” by Charles C. Mann, it has a fascinating run-down of the potato’s history, and makes a case for the potato being the root1 of current agricultural processes.

One thing I found truly fascinating? The claim the article makes that modern pesticides originated with a frustrated farmer throwing paint on his potato plants. Sometimes the frustrated, angry and panicked mind really can find a solution, at least in the short term, eh?

I hope you all enjoy this article as much as I did. It’s a bit long (at least for those of use who spend a lot of time online with short attention spans), but well worth it.

fn1. Hahahahaha! I totally didn’t mean to make a pun when I wrote that, but then it made me laugh, so I’m keeping it.