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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Aug 19, 2008

No matter how you slice or dice it, the potato is the most beloved vegetable around the world.

Because of this distinction, someone somewhere decided to pay homage to the spud and declared that today (Aug. 19) is National Potato Day.

Stop and think for a moment. Can you imagine how boring meals would be without the spud?

It is one of the few foods known to humans that can be served at breakfast, lunch and supper and can be worked into all kinds of dishes from appetizers to desserts.

Its versatility doesn’t stop there either as cooks the world over have put their individual talents to good use in making potatoes that are au gratin, baked, hash browned, boiled, fried, mashed, pancaked and scalloped.

Close your eyes and envision one plain ordinary potato. At 100 calories and no fat it is a very healthy selection when preparing the menu at home or making selections from a menu at the restaurant.

Where it gets tricky, is how the vegetable is prepared and what is used like oil, salt, butter, sour cream, cheese (all kinds) and anything that else that adds to the fat and calorie content.

We suggest trying a cooked potato without the embellished condiments. It has a good taste all its own. If you must sprinkle something on it, try pepper or other favorite seasonings to give it a boost.

While the potato may be considered a common and ordinary veggie, think of the multitudes of Irish immigrants who ventured across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States.

They left their home and all that was familiar to start a brand new life in a new country during and after the major potato famine which brought devastation and hardship to Ireland beginning in 1845.

If this single incident had not occurred, the make-up of this great nation and some of its most famous sons (and daughters) would have been altered greatly.

So enjoy some potatoes today.

And yes, potatoes can be created into sweet treats. There are recipes for what else, potato candy!

Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Aug 19, 2008

Maturing crops in the field are a good thing when considering how Iowa helps to feed the global masses and ag business is big business.

But the flip side of massive cornstalks standing in fields during this time of the year is they pose a detrimental risk to the health and safety of the traveling public on Iowa’s country roads. This is especially true at uncontrolled intersections due to the tall stalks and tassels obstructing a clear viewing of cross traffic.

Because the crops still have some time left before harvest, all drivers need to resort to cautious and careful driving habits to avoid any kind of accident.

Now is also the time when the yellow school buses will be making their appointed rounds early in the morning and after school. This only underlines the cautionary measures in the paragraph above.

If you are in a hurry to get from point A to point B because you are running late, it is always best to be late for wherever you are going. That way you will arrive in one piece in an unscathed vehicle.

Think of it this way, if you are involved in an accident or are pulled over for speeding, chances are you will be all that much later in getting to wherever you are going.

There are those times, unfortunately, when tragedy strikes and it is better to arrive really late than not at all.

By taking your time behind the wheel and driving defensively, you also allow other folks on the road to get to their intended destinations intact.

Now is also a great time to remind everyone that as harvest time nears to be especially on guard with an influx of more agricultural machinery hugging the back roads.

The rest of us need to be mindful and careful around the farmer and his farm help as they maneuver the combine, tractor, plows, discs, wagons and semis on county roads to also get from point A to point B.

After all, they are doing their job of feeding the world.