View Full Version : I have been thinking about not growing potato.

12-04-2008, 04:57 PM
I need advise. As I plan out my new garden I have been thinking about not growing potato. The reason is to keep my families carbs down. But, it is one of my top ten favorite things to grow. Easy, fun for kids, really sweet little flowers.....

But if I grow it, we will eat it. I don't know. I am at a loss. I am leaning towards growing it, but just not very much.


12-04-2008, 06:28 PM
I'm right there with you on the potatoes. My solution is to reduce the white potatoes and increase the sweet potatoes. They have all those wonderful vitamins and lots of fiber to boot.

12-04-2008, 07:41 PM
I'd rather have home grown carbs like potatos then some of the junk that's out there on the store shelves..

12-04-2008, 09:58 PM
We don't eat a lot of potatoes, but we eat enough to grow our own. Would you rather buy storebought which are likely GMO potatoes.

Of course I commend you for reducing your carbs, but unless you are doing Atkins, reducing portion sizes is the way to go.

12-05-2008, 12:05 AM
I have to admit that potatoes are one of my very favorite foods to eat. There is nothing better than digging under a young potato plant and eating those new potatoes. Maybe you could eat them younger, therefore smaller and less carbs.


12-05-2008, 09:07 AM
how about growing fewer potatoes? Or, setting a larger portion for your farmers market? Or how about wonderful fingerling potatoes - they are full of flavor and quite small.

12-06-2008, 08:47 AM
Well, the former nutritionist decided to stick her nose in here... please forgive! :rolleyes:

Remember that carbs are NOT all created equal.

Remember that a whole food is not the same thing as a glazed jelly doughnut.

Remember that whole foods contain fiber. Eat the peels/husks, etc. Fiber slows the digestive process and allows the carbohydrate portion to be metabolized at a more even rate.

Remember that less starchy potatoes are a great option. Fingerlings, small red skin "new" potatoes, etc. You don't have to grow the old fashioned high starch Russets.

And I agree that yams/sweet potatoes are far more nutritionally dense foods than white starchy potatoes.

REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN in your garden and BALANCE on your dinner plate.


12-07-2008, 02:53 PM
The real problem is that we love potato here at my house, but go crazy with it. The other real problem is potato is truly the most perfect urban sustainable crop there is:

It can be grown well in dense environments. I have grown over a hundred pounds a season(without really trying).

It can be ground up into gluten free flower.

It can be fermented and turned into alcohol (for fuel purposes of course:))

Incredibly easy to store and preserve.

It is nearly impossible to kill in healthy soil and the list goes on and on.

Next problem: My family always struggle with weight. And for many of us it is just pure carbohydrate and just packs on the pounds. In my household we live with my grandmother in law and she is possesed by food.

Her mother was from Nova Scotia and came to the US around the turn of the last century and her being a young adult in the 1930's and 40's makes her very food "aware". But with a diet from Nova Scotia it is all about the potato, so if I have it around she will fix it and we will eat it and live a possibly unhealthy lifestyle.

So if I grow it, I really want to grow it and do I hole special on it, I just want a variety that is low carb. Does anyone know if the Purple potatoes are lower carb? Which potato variety has less starch?

And if we eat the skin does how does that make the digestive process different?

12-07-2008, 05:48 PM
Great questions about the potato....

I did stick a couple of sweet potato plants into the ground this summer -- they vine like crazy though and grow all over the place LOL But, I have to say, compared to store bought, these were the best sweet potatoes that I've ever had.

That would be my main reason for growing potatoes (regular or sweet) in my garden. Also, you know what you have in your soil.... so you're not getting lots of pesticides, etc.

In Seed of Exchange's seed catalog last year, I remember they had listed all sorts and colors of potatoes. I do wonder if there are different nutritional values for the different colors....

12-07-2008, 05:54 PM
I really want to grow the small red potatos and sweet potatos just because that's what we'd use/eat the most.. Something we like to do with the small red ones is baked them in the microwave for a couple minutes and then butter.. Not the healthiest in the world, but still probably better then chips and such..

Garden Green
12-09-2008, 09:57 PM
If the white ones have most of the starch, why not grow blue or purple ones? Correct me if I'm wrong here, but won't those have less?

12-10-2008, 09:22 PM
If the white ones have most of the starch, why not grow blue or purple ones? Correct me if I'm wrong here, but won't those have less?

That is exactly my theory as well. My understanding of sugars, carbs and all that is that if it's white it is probably bad. This is very frustrating. Can anyone in nutrition or health please give me a little light on this? I am sticking this thread for now.

But I have made my decision: Drumroll please-

I will grow potato next year! But only purple, blue and sweet potato.

12-11-2008, 10:31 PM
Last month, I spent a lot of time reading the book "Get Healthy Now!" by Gary Null and he spoke briefly about potatoes and complex carbs in general. Overall, he's got good things to say about them, but there are some precautions to consider.

According to him, the skin has a lot of the nutrients of the potato. It's a great source of vitamin C and manganese. Potatoes are, in fact, low in calories. It's what we put on them that packs on calories. Since it is a complex carb, some people may have trouble digesting it. Try soaking your potatoes in water for 10-15 min. before cooking them. Also, you mentioned that your family tends to gain weight easily. Do you really think that potatoes are the culprit? If so, you may be having some sort of allergic reaction to them in the form of weight gain. Obviously, I'm not a nutritionist or anything like that, but Null submits that there may be some things we can't eat every day or else our body starts to "reject" it as an intruder rather than accept it as nourishment. It's something I'm starting to take into consideration in my own diet.

12-12-2008, 02:12 PM
Hope I'm not overstepping here, but here goes:

The skins have fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, and other nutrients. Fiber is essential in the digestive tract for adding bulk, trapping moisture, and easing constipation. The fiber also cleanses the digestive tract, a key to good health that we often forget/overlook. Thus, eating potatoes with the skins is good.

As for starch, different types of potatoes have more/less starch. Russets and other high starch varieties might not be a good choice, especially peeled, because their starch quickly converts into sugar, raises insulin levels, etc. A peeled high starch potato is the nutritional equivelant of white bread.

Lower starch varieties don't fall apart when boiled (red, blue, yellow, etc) They typically don't jack with your blood sugar nearly as much as the starchy kind. So, in moderation, they are okay. Especially given that they do contain key nutrients and are fat-free, no cholesterol, etc.

Having said that, to anything you overeat (eat at every meal, eat several times per week, etc) you can develop a reaction. Yes! It's nature's way of telling you that more variety is necessary. Dietary variety ensures that you are getting a balance of nutrients (instead of too much of one, not enough of another.) So, as with everything, moderation is key.

Garden Green
12-12-2008, 07:54 PM
Consider the phrase, 'balanced diet'. More than likely, you're not sitting and chowing down on a plate of potatoes (like my kids would). While potatoes may be high in starch, when you slather them in butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon (yum!), and that is all you had for dinner, you're asking for trouble. If you are bringing something else to the party, vegetables, grains, meat, the meter comes down from high starch to somewhere in the medium range because your working on absorbing more than just that potato. Hence the phrase "balanced diet'.

I suppose what it comes down to is insulin. Less carbs, less insulin, the more fat you burn. More carbs, more insulin, the less likely you are to burn fat, instead, you burn the carbs leaving the fat as carbs equate to a cheap energy source and your body has to do less work. A balanced diet would mean that you're taking in enough to be healthy enough to burn both.

I say grow the potatoes, they have something good to offer.

12-21-2008, 10:37 AM
How about growing them and just fixing them different. Roast them with olive oil and spices so you don't use butter. Cut them up the way you like um fryed, but instead of frying them, beat up a egg white roll them in it and put them in the oven. The give you that fryed potato taste.

01-17-2009, 12:47 PM
I am growing them. They are just too useful not to grow.

01-17-2009, 01:16 PM
How about growing them and just fixing them different. Roast them with olive oil and spices so you don't use butter. Cut them up the way you like um fryed, but instead of frying them, beat up a egg white roll them in it and put them in the oven. The give you that fryed potato taste.

Or baked topped with homemade salsa! Yummy and nutritious.

01-17-2009, 02:26 PM
What is white roll?