Digging potatoes

The digging season for New Jersey potatoes is done – most potatoes are stored “loose” in large climate controlled buildings. Bagging will be done as orders come in to the farm – this operation can last most of winter.

Some farmers ship their fresh dug potatoes to Gloucester County Packing Company – a local facility that bags different variety or size bags for grocery store or commercial customers.

The southern area of New Jersey used to be a very big potato growing area. Disease and economic reasons has had many farmers change to corn or soybeans.

New studies have proven that potatoes offer one of the lowest cost options for four key nutrients: fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, and magnesium. Along with beans, potatoes are the lowest cost sources of nutrients as identified by the 2010 USDA dietary guidelines.

The ability to identify affordable nutrient-dense vegetables is important to families trying to stretch their food dollars. This information is also used when planning food programs such as school lunches and WIC. One medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin on a potato contains just 110 calories per serving, and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

I am a big fan of potatoes – mashed, and baked, home-fries or salad. This vegetable has a bad reputation for not being healthy. Mostly it is what is put on a potato that ups the health issues – like butter, cheese, sour cream or salt (looks bad most of these are dairy products – use everything in moderation!).

Enjoy your potatoes!

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