Why France banned Potatoes 🙅🥔🍠

And how an army pharmacist changed that.

Potatoes are by far the most loved food ever. But that wasn’t the case for a long time!

Europeans hated potatoes. They were even banned in France in 1748 because the French believed they caused leprosy.

But something happened between 1754 and 1763 (Seven Years’ War):

When he was released at the end of the war, Parmentier returned to his studies in Paris. By 1772, his mission was to prove to the French that potatoes were delicious and good for you, and in that same year, the French government repealed the potato ban because of Parmentier’s pioneering work.

In 1773, he even won an award from the Academy of Besancon for research that proved potatoes were a great source of nutrition for people suffering from dysentery. Source: The Strange History of Potatoes.

Okay, enough with Potato History. Let’s jump to the Nutrition Facts 🗒️.

So why are potatoes so freaking delicious and good for us?

Because we little humans are starch eaters. We need the special sugar fuel that is stored as long chains (complex carbohydrates) in starchy plants.

Complex carbohydrates are what give us energy:

Starches provide an abundance of protein, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, with just enough essential fat to meet all of our dietary needs.

Grains and legumes, however, need a little help from fruits, like oranges, and green or yellow vegetables, like broccoli, to provide adequate vitamin A and C.

As Dr. McDougall says “You’re not going to save the world eating just broccoli or kale”.

As long as you focus on eating unprocessed carbohydrates, you’re good to go!

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Potatoes fun facts 🤓

  • There is an organization called International Potato Center 🏢.

  • Potatoes didn’t exist in Europe approximately until the end of the 16th century. For colonizers, potatoes were regarded as food for the natives who have to do the heaviest jobs 🌍.

  • There are more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes, mostly found in the Andes (their origin) 🦙.

  • You can do The Potato Diet as a transition to a whole foods plant-based diet. If the only animal product you can’t get rid of is cheese, maybe you can try it out to reset your taste buds 😛!

  • The potato is the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat in terms of human consumption.

  • Potatoes produce more food per unit of water than any other major crop and are up to seven times more efficient in using water than cereals 🚱.

  • Older and wild varieties of potatoes can be harmful, though. They might have a concentration of a natural poison called solanine. However, the harmful potatoes have been commercially removed. It’s always a good idea to choose bright and fresh potatoes, and discard any green eyes, sprouts, or greenish skins, just in case.

  • You can join The Potato Diet Facebook Group. In fact, it’s where I found out about Parmentier 😛.

A heads up about potatoes: coating them in oil is not good for you, better to roast or use an air fryer ⚠️.


In case you were thinking of it, check out my Pinterest board with +40 recipes 😉.

What is your favorite potato recipe? I am an old-fashioned mashed potato with mushroom gravy fan :)

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