The ‘Potato Masterclass’ was held in London to celebrate the start of the British new potato season, and to launch a new campaign that will highlight to consumers just how tasty, versatile, sustainable, and healthy potatoes really are. Potato Council research identified that people don’t know that potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, and that they are in fact 99.9% fat free.
A new team of Potato Ambassadors that will be working to bust these potato myths was introduced. These include the star of Iron Chef UK Sanjay Dwivedi, leading Consultant Dietitian Sian Porter, and a team of British potato growers – the real face of farming.
A recent Potato Council survey revealed that only 7%* of adults would choose potatoes as their carbohydrate of choice for international cuisine, compared with 85%* who would use potatoes for a more traditional British meal. Sanjay Dwivedi, who is passionate about potatoes, both at home and at his Kensington restaurant, Zaika said: “Potatoes shouldn’t be associated with purely British or European cuisines, because they are ideal for so many dishes from around the world. From Bombay potatoes, to fresh Thai salads or Jamaican Jerk stir fries, potatoes are a fantastic foundation for an unlimited number of tasty and exciting meals.”
So to show just how versatile potatoes are and how quick and easy they are to cook, Sanjay Dwivedi, cooked up a range of exciting and varied potato dishes. These included Chinese Five Spice Potato and Chicken Salad, Quick Potato and Fish Salad and his very own Grilled Chicken Breast, Garlic and Chilli Mash.
When asked one in ten* adults didn’t think that potatoes contained any vitamins or nutrients, while just a quarter identified all the nutrients they contain. Leading Consultant Dietitian Sian Porter explained just why potatoes are naturally good for us: “People think that carbohydrates, and potatoes in particular, make you fat which is simply not true. In fact potatoes have a low energy density making them perfect for helping with weight management. Not only that, but potatoes contain many vital nutrients including vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B6, and folate. Only a fifth* of UK adults think of potatoes as a good source of vitamin C, despite the fact that 15% of our vitamin C intake comes from them.”
To see for themselves just how easy potatoes are to cook, delegates at the event teamed up with the potato growers to cook their own delicious potato supper. Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs for the Potato Council, Caroline Evans, said: “People may not realise it but our 3,000 potato farmers grow over 6 million tonnes of potatoes each year, the majority of which are eaten here in Britain. We know more than 80%* of consumers want to support home-grown food, but they face a number of challenges when looking for meal ideas. Their knowledge of what the potato can offer is poor, so it’s our job to help bust some of these myths. Potatoes are tasty, healthy, versatile and sustainable and our team of ambassadors will help us communicate this clearly to consumers.”