THE POTATO AND THE FUTURE CONQUEST OF SPACE. I have posted several times about the importance of the potato in world history. I quoted Professor William H. McNeill here that: “by feeding rapidly growing populations, [potatoes] permitted a handful of European nations to assert dominion over most of the world between 1750 and 1950.” I quoted Professor McNeill here that: “The value of potatoes in time of war was so enormous that every military campaign on European soil after about 1560 resulted in an increase in potato acreage, down to and including World War II.”

In an e mail with the subject line “potatoes on Mars”, Nick sent me this link to a report on the Gizmodo website about a NASA-backed project to see whether potatoes can be grown under the extreme conditions of the soil on Mars. The project has experimented with growing potatoes in soil from the Peruvian desert, which was selected for “Mars-like aridity and high salt content”. The project has now grown potatoes “using this Mars-like soil”. A spokesman for the project says: “We will do several rounds of experiments to find out which potato varieties do best.”

This entry was posted in Economics, History, Politics, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.