Potatoes are the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat and the leading vegetable crop in the United States (1). More than a billion people worldwide eat potatoes and global total crop production exceeds 300 million metric tons. Potatoes are grown in an estimated 125 countries throughout the world – from China’s Yunnan plateau and the subtropical lowlands of India to Java’s equatorial highlands and the steppes of the Ukraine (1).
- According to What We Eat: NHANES 2009-2010, Americans ages 2 and older eat a daily average of 0.35 potatoes (2).
- According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the average Canadian eats 71 kilograms of potatoes a year (3). This translates to 0.43 pounds of potatoes per person per day, which is the equivalent of about a medium potato a day.
- Potatoes are a pathway to increased vegetable consumption: consumers of white potatoes, on average, consume significantly more potassium and eat more vegetables than non-consumers. Read Healthy Dietary Patterns for more information.
(1) International Potato Center. Potato facts and figures. http://cipotato.org/potato/facts/ Accessed July 21, 2016.
(2) What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010, individuals 2 years and over (excluding breast-fed children), day 1 dietary intake data, weighted. Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED) 2009-2010.
(3) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Check out potatoes! http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/science-and-innovation/check-out-agriculture/check-out-potatoes/?id=1308687658080. Accessed March 29, 2017.