Healthy eating and revaluation of original foods are hot issues nowadays. Stef de Haan, agroecologist at the CIP International Potato Centre in Lima, is enthusiastic about the native potato varieties he discovers and examines in Peru, cradle of the potato. A lot of mystery and tradition surrounds these native varieties. But can this ‘real gold’ of the Inca’s really help us get healthier?
words Stef de Haan | photography Jim Richardson
Peru’s potato power
Peru, a country that has cultivated potatoes for nearly 7,000 years, boasts on having over 4,500 varieties of the world’s favourite vegetable, the potato. This tuber comes in all shapes, colours and sizes. They aren’t just pretty to look at, but also hold up to 5 times as much vitamins, carotene, zinc and antioxidants as regular potatoes! The remarkable traits of these native potatoes are a valuable source in developing more resilient and nutritious spuds. In fact they open up a whole new world of possibilities in fighting poverty, malnutrition and securing the world’s food supply. This is exactly what CIP International Potato Centre is striving for.