There was a lot we didn’t know about our favourite veg – the humble spud! But Dr Sue Turner, who started her career working in plant pathology at the International Potato Centre in Peru, knew all about this ancient tuber – indeed its social history and travels from the Andes to Kent.
Wild potatoes were discovered 8,000 years ago growing in areas near Lake Titicaca. A process was developed to draw out the poisonous sap so that they became a versatile and nutritious food for both humans and animals. These days the starch is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, wallpaper paste and now bio-degradeable packaging. But with climate change watch out for Colorado beetle. It is across the channel!