The potato is a starchy vegetable. Potatoes originated in the Andes Mountain areas of South America. They were carried around the world by European seafarers.
With more than 4,300 varieties of native potatoes, the vegetable has become one of the world's most important crops, according to the International Potato Center. Potatoes provide nutritional security to millions of people. Today, potatoes are cultivated in over 100 countries. Potatoes are also healthy to eat. They contain calcium, vitamin C, folate and potassium. Potatoes are also low in fat and sodium when they are eaten without adding condiments such as sour cream or butter.