So, what has the potato done for so many? It has repeatedly saved entire societies from chronic malnutrition and starvation. For example, impoverished Irish families ate meals consisting mostly of boiled potatoes with only a bit of milk, butter or cheese. The family ate from a "table" created by placing a basket used to gather the spuds over the cooking pot.
The wealthy Irish ate potatoes
as the centerpiece of their meals, as well, only their potato bowls perched on silver rings, so the heat wouldn't mar the finish of the dining table.
Today the potato is again playing a vital role in feeding the world. Only this time it is playing two parts:
nourishing the hungry, and overnourishing many of the rest of us.
"You want fries with that?"
This is the late McDonald's corporation CEO Jim Cantalupo. He was responsible for the globalization of the golden arches (the company has always denied that they are two bent fries) restaurant chain. At one point the company opened 3000 stores a year. Fried potatoes are one of the most profitable items on the menu and accompany whatever is ordered.
The unfried potato is a naturally nutritious, non-fat food that should be a part of everybody's daily eatingplans.
Unfortunately, however, most people todayconsume most of their potatoes fried, and
this has led to a world-wide health crisis of
obese and artery-clogged consumers of French fries, burgers and soft drinks.
No wonder that the image of the potato has slipped. "Do you want fries with that?" also has become a symbol of second class employment status. Fried potatoes have become the poster food for those who are concerned with this issue.