Versatility and value
Of all the vegetables grown in Canada, the humble potato is by far the most versatile. Potatoes can be boiled, fried, roasted or microwaved. They can be mashed, hashed, sliced, diced or grated. They're essential ingredients in stews, casseroles and soups. What goes better with a summer meal than a bowl of chilled potato salad? And who can pass up a plate of sizzling fish with a side order of golden french fries?
But potatoes aren't just for eating. Manufacturers use them to make many other products, including alcohol, starches, pharmaceutical preparations and biodegradable plastics. So it's no wonder that the potato is the most valuable of all Canada's vegetable crops — in fact, this unassuming tuber accounts for a third of the annual cash receipts for Canadian vegetable farmers.
A quality vegetable
Potatoes are very nutritious, containing high amounts of carbohydrates, potassium, iron, protein, fibre and phosphorous. They're also loaded with vitamins, including vitamins B1, B6 and C. And contrary to popular belief, they're a relatively low-calorie food — a serving size, one medium potato with skin (148 g) contains just 100 calories.
Canada has a long history of supplying top-quality table potatoes to its customers and is widely recognized as an international leader in seed-potato production. We grow about 150 types of registered seed potatoes, including such varieties as Russet Burbank, Superior and the famous Yukon Gold, created by Canadian researchers and released in 1981. Our scientists regularly introduce new potato types to Canada and maintain a gene bank of distinctive potato varieties to support further product development.
Although Canadian-developed seed potatoes are designed for our northern climate, they hold significant promise for farmers in more southern countries as well. Called "northern vigour," this phenomenon is a result of our potatoes' adaptation to the long summer days of the north, which enhances their energy and vigour. When they're grown in warmer latitudes, the result is more consistent crop development, higher yields and superior grades. Better yet, the improvements carry over through several generations of seed.
Taste the Canadian difference
Be it ever so humble, there's nothing quite like the Canadian potato for taste, quality and adaptability. For further information on Canada's potato industry, please visit:
- Agri-Food Trade Service
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Potatoes
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