Potatoes are a staple for many countries across the world, and it’s a good source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. Despite being good to eat, you’ll be surprised at the different ways people have used this root crop over the years. Since potatoes are relatively cheap in the market, you may want to try some of these surprising uses for yourself!
- Make vodka. We know that grain products and sugar beet molasses are used to create vodka, but did you know that potatoes are one of the sources of vodka, too? You can even make vodka in your own home should you have an excess of potatoes lying around in your house.
- Potato juice as cure. Potato juice may not sound like the yummiest thing in the world, but it’s touted as a very effective cure for different ailments. It can help alleviate pain caused by ulcers, as well as spasmodic upper body pain. Potato juice also helps heal sprains, gout, sciatica, heart burns, bruises and flush out toxins in our body. That’s a lot of ailments that potato juice can help curing or relieving! To prepare potato juice, simply pop in cleaned potatoes with their skins on in the juicer, and that’s it. They are usually bland, but you can add celery or carrots to make the potato juice more delicious.
- Skin care. Potatoes can also help you with your skin problems. Acne, blackheads and whiteheads can be treated using potatoes in two methods. The first method is to simply cut a potato in half and rubbing the inside part of it on the affected area. Leave the juice on for half a minute and rinse. The other method is to make a face mask. To make the face mask, blend the potatoes in the blender and apply the paste on your face. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse off.
- A staple in big industries. Potato starch is largely used by the textile, wood, paper, pharmaceutical and oil drilling firms as binder, adhesive, texture agent, filler and wash for boreholes.
- An alternative to plastic. Potato starch is also a completely biodegradable alternative to polystyrene, and can be used to create plastic items, such as plastic dishes, forks and spoons. Potato starch is also being developed as a biodegradable packaging material.
- Developing pictures. Before digital photography and before color film, there was Autochrome. Autochrome was the principal way to develop color photos before the introduction of photo film and used tiny, microscopic grains of potato starch.
- Making ethanol. Even so-called potato “waste” is a potential gold mine. Canada’s potato-growing New Brunswick has estimated that 44,000 tons of potato processing waste could be liquefied and fermented to produce fuel-grade ethanol.
- Art. Potatoes come in all shapes and sizes. Artists all over recognize the beauty of the potato and turn them into works of art. Potatoes are featured in sculptures and even in paintings, most notably Van Gogh’s “The Potato Eaters.”
- Stamps. Making potato stamps are a fun and interesting way to introduce children to carving. Simply cut a potato in half, carve a shape using a pen knife, and slowly slice away the extra potato parts so that the shape protrudes from the rest of the potato. Then get some stamping ink, and stamp away!
- Power a clock. Potatoes contain energy, and quite literally too. You can power a simple clock by hooking them up to a couple of potatoes. You can read more about it here.
* After knowing how useful these crops can be, time for you to learn how to grow potatoes and how to make a potato chip handbag.