Bet­ter to la­bel potato as sta­ple, not veg­etable

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -, Jan 7 Peo­ple’s Daily, Jan 7 CCTV News, Jan 7 cn­, Jan 5

TheM­i­nistry of Agri­cul­ture an­nounced at a re­cent sym­po­sium its strat­egy to pro­mote potato cul­ti­va­tion and pop­u­lar­ize it as a food sta­ple. Com­ments:

With bal­anced nu­tri­tion and high pro­duc­tiv­ity pota­toes are an ideal food for peo­ple in to­day’s world. But Chi­nese peo­ple have al­ways treated potato as just a veg­etable, in­stead of a sta­ple. With the mar­riage of tra­di­tional andWestern-style food over the past decade, this is the right time to en­cour­age peo­ple to ac­cept pota­toes as a sub­sti­tute for grains.

Do­mes­tic de­mand for grain con­tin­ues to grow ro­bustly. Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates, China will need an ad­di­tional 100 mil­lion tons of grain by 2020. How­ever, short­age of wa­ter and other re­sources have se­ri­ously thwarted ef­forts to in­crease the pro­duc­tion of wheat and rice. It is nec­es­sary to ex­pand potato fields in or­der to ease the pres­sure on the en­vi­ron­ment as

well as meet peo­ple’s needs.

Tra­di­tional Chi­nese cook­ing re­lies heav­ily on boil­ing and steam­ing when it comes to grains. Since pota­toes are cooked dif­fer­ently, Chi­nese peo­ple have not ac­cepted it as a sta­ple. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, in or­der to pop­u­lar­ize pota­toes as a sta­ple, the au­thor­i­ties need to fund re­search projects to de­velop di­ver­si­fied potato prod­ucts that suit peo­ple’s tastes.

Potato con­tains less carotene and an­tho­cy­nanin but more calo­ries per kilo­gram than most other vegetables. As a sta­ple, potato is bet­ter than rice. But as a veg­etable, it is no match for spinach, car­rot or tomato.

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