The potato is among the most used vegetables in the world. It is a root vegetable or tuber and can be found in several locations around the world. The potato belongs to the family Solanaceae, and it comes from the plant Solanum tuberosum.
You will have come across a potato at one point or another, that is how common it is. There are several species scattered across the continents. Potatoes can differ in color, shape, size. Potatoes can be used in making several dishes as it is very versatile and easy to preserve.
Apart from the versatility of the potato, the nutritional value is another reason why the potato is very popular. It contains different percentages of nutrients like fat, protein, carbs, fiber, sodium, vitamin C, calories, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and folate.
How much does a potato weigh? Potatoes vary in size as a result of different factors, but on average a small sized potato weighs about 3.2 ounces (0.20 pounds), an average-sized potato weighs about 6.4 ounces (0.40 pounds), and a large-sized potato weighs about 9.6 ounces (0.60 pounds).
Things to Know when Weighing Potatoes
Potatoes are like any other fruit or vegetable, they tend to vary in size, shape, color, and even weight. They are susceptible to different factors like the environment which can result in a wide difference in weight.
When you’re measuring the weight of potatoes, don’t expect them to all weigh the same. In addition, the weight of a potato may or may not be an indication of a healthy or sick potato. You’ll see some of the factors that are capable of affecting the weight of the potato below.
When you’re measuring the weight of potatoes, the weight can depend on the size and the water content.
- Genetics: Genetics are a major factor that determines the size, shape, color, weight, height, and every other physiological property of the tree as well as the fruit that it will produce. If the dominant genes support big tubers, the potatoes produced will be big, and if it supports small-sized tubers, the potatoes produced will be small. A plant with a gene for big tubers will produce potato tubers that weigh more than one with the gene for small tubers, but that doesn’t mean the one with the smaller weight isn’t healthy.
- Environmental factors: Environmental factors refer to the location where the plants grow. As mentioned, potatoes are found in different regions around the world and these regions don’t all have the same environment. These differences in environment can determine the size of the potatoes produced. Some of these environmental factors include:
- Soil type: The soil type is an important factor in the growth of plants. Not all soil types support the growth of every plant. Different soil types contain different percentages of nutrients, some have macronutrients in higher proportion than others. If the plant grows in an environment with suitable soil type, which contains all the needed nutrients and supplements, it will produce healthy tubers. Meanwhile, if the plants grow in an area with poor soil type, the tubers could be altered, even if the plant has genes for big tubers, it will be difficult for it to grow to its maximum potential.
- Competition: Refers to the presence of other plants that might be competing with the potato plants for nutrients. This factor is usually based on if the plant is cultivated or growing in the wild. Plants that are intentionally cultivated have less competition and tend to grow better since they have enough nutrients for themselves. However, plants that grow in the wild have to compete with weeds and other plants. As a result, those plants tend to have fewer nutrients and smaller tubers.
- Irrigation: Irrigation refers to the water supply available to the plants. Water is a crucial part of a plant’s development. Every plant needs water to grow. The water supply in that environment will go a long way in determining how the plant will grow and how healthy the tubers produced will be. A potato plant that grows in an area with a good water supply will definitely produce healthier tubers than one lacking water. In addition, the plants will have a higher water content and hence weigh more than the others.
- Human activity: Human activity is another major factor that can affect the development of plants. Human activity can be positive or negative. Positive activities by humans can lead to better development of potato plants while the negative activities by humans can cause the plant to have stunted growth and produce poor fruits. Some of the positive activities include manuring, tilling, pruning, irrigation installment, etc. On the other hand, some of these negative activities include soil pollution, grazing, burning of topsoil, etc.
People often make the mistake of cooking their potatoes before they measure them. However, by cooking your potatoes first, you won’t get the true weight of your potatoes. When you want to weigh your potatoes, weigh them raw, with or without the peel. Weighing the potato peel doesn’t matter because the peel doesn’t add much to the weight.
Here are some ways to weigh your potatoes:
Weigh Potatoes Individually: You can weigh your potatoes one by one if you want to get the exact weight of each potato. While this process might take longer, you can get the exact weight of each potato.
Weigh Potatoes in Groups: Weighing potatoes in groups is faster and allows you to measure a large number of potatoes at a time. Just know the number of potatoes you’re grouping, and you can get the average weight of each potato from the total weight. Add the total number of potatoes and divide that number by the aggregate sum of the potatoes weight.