Seeing the Light of Day

Share this post

Fall back, spring forward. Daylight Saving Time (DST) was Mr. Ben “Early to bed, early to rise” Franklin's suggestion of a way to economize on candles in 1784. In our era of compact fluorescents it’s the loss of sleep we notice, and it might be hard to realize any cost benefits. Nonetheless DST is a good bi-annual reminder to look up from our artificially-lit world and notice the sun's position and it's effect on our day.

The humble potatoes in our TakeHome boxes have their own DST alarm clock. As tubers they slumber in rich pillowy soil. Tubers swell up and store nutrients, as opposed to roots, which stretch out collecting nutrients. After its initial growth, the above-ground bush withers, and the below-ground potato matures. The farmer digs up the spuds, transferring them, dirt covered, into a dark and cool barn. The potatoes are cured for a bit, which makes the skins hardier. This is their twilight sleep.

Potatoes grown organically are not sprayed with sprout inhibitor chemicals, so after they see the light, well, sprouts happen. To prevent this, store them in the dark, but not the fridge. Extreme cold (like frost) makes the starch in spuds turn to sugar, which makes them taste odd, unless you are making vodka. Potatoes should be washed before use, and the occasional sprout can be flicked off. If your potato turns green, however, it has been exposed to light and should be peeled, as it will taste bitter.

The lovely taters in our TakeHome boxes this week are Russet Burbanks, created by the extremely prolific botanist Luther Burbank (1849-1926). This potato was one of his first experiments in Lunenburg, MA. Burbank was a pioneer in plant breeding, and created 800 varieties of plants including the Shasta Daisy and the Plumcot. He was also the progenitor of the Plant Patent Act, securing rights for plant breeders. Burbank sold the rights to his Russet Burbank potato in 1875 for 150 dollars and bought a  farm in Santa Rosa, CA, where he continued his life’s work. The Russet is probably the most popular all-around potato, widely used for French fries and hash browns for Spring Forward Sunday Brunch.

- Heidi Lewis

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.