Origin of potatoes
The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C. In 1536 Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the flavors of the potato, and carried them to Europe. Before the end of the sixteenth century, families of Basque sailors began to cultivate potatoes along the Biscay coast of northern Spain. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland in 1589 on the 40,000 acres of land near Cork. It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe. In the 1840s a major outbreak of potato blight, a plant disease, swept through Europe, wiping out the potato crop in many countries. The Irish working class lived largely on potatoes and when the blight reached Ireland, their main staple food disappeared. This famine left many poverty-stricken families with no choice but to struggle to survive or emigrate out of Ireland. Over the course of the famine, almost one million people died from starvation or disease. Another one million people left Ireland, mostly for Canada and the United States. A. Parmentier helped King Louis XIV popularize the potato in France in the 18th century. Parmentier created a feast with only potato dishes, a concept he realized was possible when he was imprisoned in Germany and fed only potatoes. During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold. Potatoes were valued for their vitamin C. And gold, at that time, was more plentiful than nutritious foods! In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.Various folk remedies recommend using potatoes for treating facial blemishes by washing you face daily with cool potato juice; treating frostbite or sunburn by applying raw grated potato or potato juice to the affected area; helping a toothache by carrying a potato in your pocket; easing a sore throat by putting a slice of baked potato in a stocking and tying it around your throat.
Give full answers to the questions.
Who was the first to cultivate potatoes?
When were potatoes introduced to Europe?
Where were potatoes grown at the end of the 16th century?
What disease wiped out the potato in many countries?
Why did Ireland suffer from the potato disease the most?
How many people left the country because of the famine?
Where did Parmentier find the idea for his feasts?
What vitamin do potatoes have?
Did potato become the first vegetable to be grown in space?
What illnesses can be cured with potatoes?
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