Comments: 2523 • Responses: 65 • Date: 2014-02-07 05:53:01 UTCsource
MrWhat42944 karma2014-02-07 07:55:14 UTC
I think its a pretty impressive achievement to become a scientist despite being a potato. What's your secret to success? What sort of science do you do? How do you avoid being eaten?
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amandeaux1516 karma2014-02-07 07:57:31 UTC
Hey, you made me laugh! :)
OICU812B41317 karma2014-02-07 07:25:26 UTC
When are you going to cross breed a potato and a marijuana plant such that the potato has THC in it and you can just fry up some french fries that get you high?
Since it's not marijuana it's not illegal.
DO THIS! I've been thinking about this for 10 years and I don't know how to make it. You make this now! GO NOW AND MAKE THIS!
edit: if you can't breed it then GMO it! Just make it happen!
edit2: i am aware that you can just use THC oil to fry the potato, this is not what i am talking about. I am talking about creating a new species. Please improve your reading comprehension skills.
amandeaux815 karma2014-02-07 07:27:38 UTC
So much pressure!
walczyk1155 karma2014-02-07 06:02:30 UTC
Hi, I love you. What's your favorite potato? I grow purple ones, from Peru.
amandeaux1095 karma2014-02-07 06:06:00 UTC
That's awesome! I like red lasodas because that's what I grow here in Florida!
BuritooMan1294 karma2014-02-07 07:46:56 UTC
You didn't say it back man ://
amandeaux1439 karma2014-02-07 07:47:31 UTC
I love you MORE
Ryanoski091052 karma2014-02-07 07:04:25 UTC
amandeaux912 karma2014-02-07 07:09:19 UTC
Dustin-791 karma2014-02-07 06:04:37 UTC
How did you even get into this field in the first place?
amandeaux791 karma2014-02-07 06:06:34 UTC
I was studying plant nutrition and water quality and the potato producing areas in Florida have a lot of issues with nitrate in the groundwater.
trouble_tree387 karma2014-02-07 06:17:15 UTC
TIL there are potato-producing regions in Florida!
Life takes a lot of turns so this might be a silly question, but do you plan on sticking with potato research? Or do you want to work with other crops?
amandeaux448 karma2014-02-07 06:27:27 UTC
I work with sweet corn as well, but I have an affinity for potatoes so it's something I see myself sticking with for a while. I'm about to write a grant that would mean at least 6 more years of potato research.
little_fatty437 karma2014-02-07 07:26:41 UTC
I love eating potatos, may I eat potatos for 6 years as part of your research?
amandeaux435 karma2014-02-07 07:28:27 UTC
IamtheSpud709 karma2014-02-07 07:18:51 UTC
No question, I just wanted to say thank you for treating us with kindness. We will spare you when the time comes.
amandeaux447 karma2014-02-07 07:23:28 UTC
Zuzzyy388 karma2014-02-07 05:58:29 UTC
Did you help with the potato famine in Ireland?
amandeaux569 karma2014-02-07 06:02:21 UTC
I didn't, I'm a bad person :(
champloooo324 karma2014-02-07 06:07:41 UTC
Thanks for doing this AMA!
amandeaux610 karma2014-02-07 06:17:44 UTC
I get very smelly and dirty in the field, plus I'm a lady myself, so I don't get too many girls :( Uh, something cool I didn't know before I started studying potatoes, is that the potatoes you eat are just clones from the seed piece. If you let the plant flower (and nothing eats the flower, or they aren't aborted), you can grow some crazy potatoes that are nothing like the plant they came from! And yes, so many potatoes... I throw a potato party at the end of every season and everyone makes a bunch of yummy things and gets really drunk (so I can't quite remember all of the dishes). No crazy situations... yet, I'm still hoping!
ladycaver110 karma2014-02-07 07:52:37 UTC
Thanks for doing an AMA! What do you mean that you can grow crazy potatoes after the plant has flowered?
amandeaux173 karma2014-02-07 07:54:18 UTC
They just won't be the same variety as the one you planted and you can end up with some weird potatoes.
Coopa1054 karma2014-02-07 07:07:33 UTC
Where can I buy these red lasodas? I live in tampa.
My favorite potato so far is the German butterball. Can't find em here though :(
And... I want an invite to this drunken potato dinner/fest at the end of harvesting season. Isn't that soon for the red lasodas? Or has it already passed? I will come help harvest and cook something up! Ps... I'm a chef, so say yes!
amandeaux54 karma2014-02-07 07:19:54 UTC
YES! It'll be May, so we've got a while!
stardustantelope3 karma2014-02-07 07:11:56 UTC
What do you mean by clones from the seed piece? When I think clones, I think of petri dishes in a lab: is it that sort of thing, or is it a more of a special way of harvesting that results in the "clone"?
(I don't know that much about biology so apologies if this is a dumb question)
amandeaux10 karma2014-02-07 07:16:31 UTC
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Botanically, the tubers start out as little stem pieces. They enlarge into a tuber, storing carbohydrates. If you cut off the eyes, a new stem will sprout and you can grow another plant, this is how we generally produce potatoes and the result is a "clone" of the "parent." But if you let them produce seed and then plant the seeds, you'll get some wild new variety that won't resemble the parent.
aurora69317 karma2014-02-07 06:17:43 UTC
Potatoes have played a huge role in human history. Where do you see potatoes in the future, socially and literally?
amandeaux423 karma2014-02-07 06:29:38 UTC
As we face a growing population (a projected 9 billion by 2050), crops like potato will continue to be important in terms of food security because they are so calorie dense.
thebobstu244 karma2014-02-07 06:11:54 UTC
Does anyone really know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?
amandeaux446 karma2014-02-07 06:46:43 UTC
They're two different species!
exultant_blurt109 karma2014-02-07 06:18:47 UTC
In the store all the signs say "sweet potatoes" but the boxes say "yams" and it drives me nuts. What's an easy way to tell the difference just by looking?
amandeaux150 karma2014-02-07 06:45:23 UTC
Hmm, they're most likely all sweet potatoes if you can't tell the difference!
admirablefox33 karma2014-02-07 06:20:26 UTC
I really need to know this. I looked it up once and left a bit more confused than when I started.
amandeaux85 karma2014-02-07 06:48:33 UTC
I'm trying to phrase it so it's not more confusing, basically sweet potatoes are roots that store carbohydrates and yams aren't. What I'm not sure of is if a yam is a stem tuber, but I don't believe it is...
Zomg_A_Chicken237 karma2014-02-07 06:00:45 UTC
Do you get free potatoes?
amandeaux450 karma2014-02-07 06:05:34 UTC
I get PAID for doing this and get potatoes, so I'm basically getting paid for all of these potatoes!
DoneHam56209 karma2014-02-07 07:44:29 UTC
On a scale from 1 to potato, how many Latvian jokes are going to be made in this AMA?
amandeaux222 karma2014-02-07 07:44:59 UTC
Less than I had guessed, so far
danman1232204 karma2014-02-07 06:34:56 UTC
Are you to potatoes as Dwight Schrute is to beets?
amandeaux219 karma2014-02-07 07:03:20 UTC
I'd like to think so
Supersonic182198 karma2014-02-07 06:24:51 UTC
Are the skins of the potatoes actually healthy for you?
amandeaux474 karma2014-02-07 07:01:30 UTC
This response warranted more detail than I gave, so I'm working on a better response to clarify what I meant
eyeball123418 karma2014-02-07 09:37:26 UTC
But... but... potatoes grow underground! How would you spray the skin of an underground potato?
(I know you've already gone off to bed, but please, I am thoroughly confused by this).
amandeaux9 karma2014-02-07 14:53:54 UTC
I didn't mean sprayed directly, sorry! You're right, the shoots are sprayed and not the tubers themselves.
CAN_ZIGZAG165 karma2014-02-07 05:59:17 UTC
It is ok to eat (the) "green" (parts of a) potato?
It's only chlorophyll... correct?
amandeaux213 karma2014-02-07 06:40:07 UTC
I'm sorry, I thought I answered this somewhere below! It depends which green parts you're talking about, but generally no. Do you mean the tuber itself?
senior_dgaf160 karma2014-02-07 06:31:22 UTC
1) is it true that a healthy human diet can be totally comprised of just potatoes and butter?
2) would you say your line of work is a-peel-ing?
amandeaux147 karma2014-02-07 07:02:30 UTC
1) I really don't think so, but I'm not a human nutrition expert! 2) YES!
sammaverick135 karma2014-02-07 06:05:28 UTC
Favorite potato dish? How do you personally pronounce the word potato?
amandeaux228 karma2014-02-07 06:08:49 UTC
Hachis parmentier, like a french shepherd's pie! Po-tay-to!
markevens68 karma2014-02-07 06:18:38 UTC
Can you post a recipe?
amandeaux178 karma2014-02-07 06:30:35 UTC
This is the recipe I use!
Banana42134 karma2014-02-07 06:05:46 UTC
What exactly does your job as a potato scientist consist of, and how did you become involved in the magical world of potato science?
amandeaux209 karma2014-02-07 06:09:55 UTC
I grow tons of potatoes (actually, tens of thousands of tons), and measure nitrate leaching under different production practices. I was working in plant nutrition and water quality and the potato production areas in Florida have a lot of issues with nitrate in the groundwater.
PelicanElection97 karma2014-02-07 06:06:17 UTC
What kind of potato research do you do? And how will it ultimately enhance my potato enjoyment?
amandeaux155 karma2014-02-07 06:12:21 UTC
I research nitrate leaching under different irrigation and fertilizer management practices. It will allow potato growers to produce potatoes, while minimizing negative impacts to surrounding water bodies... so, you'll feel better knowing the negative impact of your potato consumption was reduced! :)
5hadowfax84 karma2014-02-07 06:58:43 UTC
Is it true that potato can cause cancer?
amandeaux646 karma2014-02-07 07:10:37 UTC
Just benign tubers
Arcticat70082 karma2014-02-07 07:22:35 UTC
How many clocks do you have that are powered by potatoes?
amandeaux164 karma2014-02-07 07:26:28 UTC
One! Got one for my secret santa gift!
Crookmeister69 karma2014-02-07 06:29:05 UTC
Do you get an unlimited supply of potatoes?
amandeaux125 karma2014-02-07 07:02:01 UTC
Quenty67 karma2014-02-07 06:22:30 UTC
Have you ever fermented potatoes into Vodka?
amandeaux172 karma2014-02-07 06:35:22 UTC
Sadly, no. But for our annual potato party, I buy potato vodka for everyone!
Laserdollarz58 karma2014-02-07 06:08:43 UTC
Favorite type of potatoes?
Discuss flavor, texture, color, and picture quality.
amandeaux243 karma2014-02-07 06:58:52 UTC
My iPhone! Terrible picture quality, but nice texture. Flavor is meh.
DutchGX57 karma2014-02-07 07:24:49 UTC
I'm going to tag you as the potato queen. Thanks for the AMA very informative!
amandeaux49 karma2014-02-07 07:27:21 UTC
I love it!
pillowsftw49 karma2014-02-07 06:08:15 UTC
If you were given the choice to change your career path, would you? What would you want to do instead of being a potato scientist?
amandeaux123 karma2014-02-07 06:18:05 UTC
I would do the same thing I'm doing now, only with a crop that didn't require so much digging!
Iama91444 karma2014-02-07 06:16:25 UTC
So are potatoes the most nutrition food that you can have?
amandeaux76 karma2014-02-07 06:24:55 UTC
In terms of calories!
Iama91431 karma2014-02-07 06:29:42 UTC
Yeah like if you could only have one food to live with what would you choose?
amandeaux139 karma2014-02-07 07:00:03 UTC
I think I'm obligated to say potato
vegannurse42 karma2014-02-07 06:06:17 UTC
Why does that potato center brown rot happen mostly to bigger potatoes? I have grown lots of potatoes and have only seen it in the larger ones.
amandeaux69 karma2014-02-07 06:13:29 UTC
When the potatoes grow rapidly, it can split apart the center and/or damage the cells that can lead to rotting in the center. Is it happening to larger ones that are being harvested at the same time as smaller potatoes you're digging up?
rainbow888836 karma2014-02-07 05:59:35 UTC
What agricultural techniques make the tastiest potato?
amandeaux71 karma2014-02-07 06:03:31 UTC
Adequate water and nutrition! Potatoes don't like excess water (and on the flip side, nematodes like excess water and like to bite potatoes), but they're not drought tolerant either!
trouble_tree16 karma2014-02-07 06:21:11 UTC
That's really interesting! I've always been under the impression that potatoes are pretty reliable crops. Are they not?
(Disregarding the Irish Potato Famine, that is, because that disaster was a culmination of a lot of unfortunate human decisions and natural conditions.)
amandeaux21 karma2014-02-07 06:34:50 UTC
Well, we're having more and more problems with disease like early and late blight that can really wipe out a whole crop. I'd say they're reliable as far as any other crop we produce large scale, but when you're producing large scale and you get an instance of a disease like that, you're spraying like 2-3 times per week.
PM_ME_UR_TITS_OBAMA29 karma2014-02-07 06:17:01 UTC
I want to grow my own potatoes this year. When should I start? Any tips? I'm in California.
amandeaux51 karma2014-02-07 06:26:33 UTC
Start as soon as you know there won't be any more freezes, I'll be planting mine a little late at the end of this month because I didn't fumigate in time. Best tip: don't over water, but don't under water. Potatoes are sensitive when it comes to water!
AkashahRazif23 karma2014-02-07 06:05:35 UTC
What's your favourite type of potato?
amandeaux45 karma2014-02-07 06:09:00 UTC
Red lasoda, delicious and beautiful!
lCt16 karma2014-02-07 06:10:05 UTC
What's the best (hardiest/easiest) potato to grow in temperate environments. New Jersey specifically.
amandeaux30 karma2014-02-07 06:20:40 UTC
Honestly, potatoes are VERY easy to grow! You're pretty much limited by the seed pieces you can get in Jersey, you'll have a bad time if you just cut up store potatoes and try to grow them (lots of disease, usually).
coredumperror12 karma2014-02-07 06:08:53 UTC
Which type of potato, in your opinion, tastes best?
Also, what's your favorite non-potato pass time?
amandeaux29 karma2014-02-07 06:19:28 UTC
I like red lasodas, but I specifically like the potatoes on the edge of the field that didn't get adequate water/nutrition. They're small and creamy, super delish!
jhenderson32099 karma2014-02-07 06:05:50 UTC
How did you decide to study potatoes? What kind of schooling is necessary for such a job?
amandeaux20 karma2014-02-07 06:10:58 UTC
Graduate school in any plant related field or environmental science! When I first started grad school, I didn't know much about agriculture and just had a background in environmental science.
Banana428 karma2014-02-07 06:16:26 UTC
Are potatoes grown for sale in Florida? It always seemed that it was more of a mountainous crop, because, you know, Idaho being famous for potatoes and all.
amandeaux13 karma2014-02-07 06:25:35 UTC
We grow them here because it's warmer here, so we can sell them earlier and get a higher price for them :)
MacxZim8 karma2014-02-07 05:59:53 UTC
-What's your favorite dish with potatoes?
-Is true that too much potato can cause harm in the long term to a human body?
-Can you submit a potato quality pic as proof?
-What's the BEST quality of potatoes?
-What have you discovered so far?
-What is your current research on potatoes?
amandeaux21 karma2014-02-07 06:04:56 UTC
Look up the instagram pic, I'm holding up some potato plants we grew and they're beautiful red lasodas! My favorite dish is hachis parmentier
MacxZim6 karma2014-02-07 06:24:11 UTC
Thanks for the potato quality picture.
Now where are the rest of the answers?
amandeaux9 karma2014-02-07 06:38:37 UTC
I'm trying to keep up!
amandeaux9 karma2014-02-07 06:52:09 UTC
I'm not sure about causing harm to the body? I'm more worried about potato health, not human health! As far as quality, I love me some under-watered red lasodas! I've discovered that controlled-release fertilizer is a viable alternative to traditional practices and potato farmers can maintain yields in Florida, while reducing nitrate leaching!
LinkingParks6 karma2014-02-07 07:57:32 UTC
Answer this: http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/1x8ae0/just_bought_these_today_sorry_for_the_potato/
amandeaux13 karma2014-02-07 07:58:05 UTC
I did! That's where I was asked to to an AMA
papasmurf8264 karma2014-02-07 06:17:40 UTC
Every so often I'll come across something saying that one could eat nothing but potatoes and butter, and they could do so indefinitely as it supplies all essential nutrition. How much truth is there to that - obviously with the carbohydrates from the potato and fats from the butter, but beyond that?
amandeaux11 karma2014-02-07 06:28:04 UTC
You'd be seriously deficient in some important micronutrients!
accountnumber022 karma2014-02-07 06:44:04 UTC
What is the superior potato? There are different types of potatoes right?
amandeaux6 karma2014-02-07 07:04:39 UTC
There are tons of different varieties! It's a personal call, though. It also depends on what you're going to use them for.
77ScuMBag772 karma2014-02-07 06:12:48 UTC
So you're a Potato Scientist, in Ireland? Do you ever have a shortage of work?
I'm sorry, that was terrible. I'll see myself out
amandeaux10 karma2014-02-07 06:21:09 UTC
I'm not in Ireland, I'm in Florida. I mean... haha I get it! :)
Redditacious1 karma2014-02-07 07:34:47 UTC
I have heard horrid things about how chemically treated potatoes are that are farmed for supermarkets and such. I.e. soaked in fungicide and pesticide and then fungicide again, and of course a few sprays of pesticides during growing. I've heard it's so bad that severe genetic damage occurs to the plant overtime and that's why potatoes aren't as nutritious anymore. All anecdotal things so I have no idea if it's based in fact. Any knowledge on this subject?
amandeaux3 karma2014-02-07 07:39:28 UTC
I can attest to all of the spraying, that's for sure!
cypherreddit1 karma2014-02-07 07:00:19 UTC
If I were to take a grocer potato, cut it up, throw it in a large bucket of potting soil and eat the new growth, would I be a moron? I live in a near-tropical environment. If not a moron, are there any complementary plants that can be planted with it?
amandeaux3 karma2014-02-07 07:10:06 UTC
You're not a moron, but you're more likely to have issues with disease if you do that!
Surlyt0m1 karma2014-02-07 07:19:01 UTC
We put a potato under my roommate's bed because he's a messy fucker, how long do we have before Messy Roommate notices it?
It's been 3 weeks and agent potato is still undetected.
amandeaux4 karma2014-02-07 07:25:10 UTC
You probably should have gone with something that will go bad faster, but he'll eventually find a smelly, squishy thing of nightmares!
yekoms71 karma2014-02-07 07:34:03 UTC
where did you go to grad school? I work in a tomato lab!
amandeaux2 karma2014-02-07 07:40:11 UTC
UF, that's awesome! My advisor did a lot of tomato work!
ArgonGryphon1 karma2014-02-07 07:33:13 UTC
Are certain varieties of potatoes better for different cooking methods the way apples are?
amandeaux2 karma2014-02-07 07:41:07 UTC
Yep! But it usually tells you right on the bag what the variety is best suited for!
InfamousT121 karma2014-02-07 07:31:07 UTC
I'm guessing you live in Idaho?
amandeaux2 karma2014-02-07 07:32:07 UTC
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