Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Potato Famine - Day Two

Truthfully I didn't expect to have much trouble with The 7-Day Potato Famine over the weekend. I don't usually eat potatoes over the weekend. It's the weekdays that are a problem because it is my habit -- don't judge me! -- to have a hamburger a couple of times a week, and I always, always, always have an order of French fries with the burger.

So today I've suffered no potato withdrawal. I should have no trouble tomorrow either, although I will be attending the annual smorgasbord at the local Catholic church so I will have access to delicious potato dishes. Sigh.

Speaking of famine, here's a bit about the terrible Potato Famine that the Irish people endured. From Wikipedia:

The Great Famine, also known as the Irish Potato Famine and the Great Hunger was a famine in Ireland which started in 1845, lasted – depending on the region – until 1849 or even 1852 and which led to the death of approximately one million people through starvation and disease; a further million are thought to have emigrated as a result of the famine. Some scholars estimate that the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent. All of this occurred while taxes, rents, and food exports were being collected and sent to British landlords, in an amount surpassing £6 million.

The proximate cause of the famine was a potato disease commonly known as late blight. Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland – where a third of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food – was exacerbated by a host of political, social and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate.

The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland. Its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory and became a rallying point for various nationalist movements. Modern historians regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as "pre-Famine." The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

In reading of the Paleo Diet, Potatoes, are toxic.

I never knew that. I'm not sure I could give them up, however. Though we don't eat them that often, I prefer onion rings with my burger ;), there are some meals I make that just call for it. Even the low fat ones...

My daughter is actually doing a report on the potato for her Foods class. (I told her they were toxic to our bodies and now she is fascinated although, it hasn't thwarted her needs for the french fry)

amberclear said...

I wonder if any of you have read the book "The Body Type Diet" by Dr. Elliot Abravanel. It's not the blood type book. It's based entirely on dominant organ systems and explains why some people do well on low carb and some do well on low fat. I've been using it for some time now and it works for me. It will also tell you what exercises work best. Give it a try.

TECH said...

Michelle, I'll have to read more about that, but it sounds like the 7-Day Potato Famine is a good idea.

Amber, I'll have to to look for that book.