It's not a tuber. It's a super tuber.
Scientists at the National Institute of Plant Genome Research in New Delhi, India, and the Central Potato Research Institute have managed to genetically modify a potato to increase the protein content by 160 percent (via io9). The researchers have also managed to boost the number of amino acids in the potatoes.
So we could we be looking at the next trendy super food?
Genetically altered foods are in the news right now because the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve genetically modified salmon. The FDA heard testimony yesterday from consumer advocates on how the salmon from AquaBounty should be labeled. The FDA's decision is being watched closely because it would mark the first time that genetically altered fish would be sold in the United States.
The salmon would have lots of company at the grocery store -- the company estimates it would take two years to get the fish to market if approved -- as a recent Long Island Press story estimated that genetically modified organisms are in 60 to 70 percent of our food supply.
The potato discovery could have a more immediate impact. According to the study, potatoes are grown in 125 countries and consumed by one billion people daily. That's a huge market for the genetically modified spuds.
I believe we could have saved these scientists a lot of time and money by simply sending them down to Jess & Jim's Steakhouse. A few of the Dinosaur egg-sized baked potatoes would have convinced them that super potatoes were already among us.
[Image courtesy of AtomicJeep]