How Much Do Michigan Locals Love Potatoes?

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

If you’ve read a newspaper or watched a newscast recently, then you’re aware that there’s not a lot that everyone around the world can agree on. However, there is at least one area in which we all can find common ground, though we must dig it out of the ground first.

May 30 is the International Day of the Potato. This is not a day created by some marketing firm or trade group or even the World Potato Congress, which is actually a thing. No, the General Assembly of the United Nations last December set aside May 30 for spuds through a resolution.

Stepping away from Michigan sports betting news for the moment, BetMichigan wanted to know which U.S. states loved potatoes the most. Here is the top 10, followed by an explanation of how we reached these results.

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Most Potato-Loving States

Rank

State

Search Interest Score

1

Maryland

100

2

Virginia

96

3

Michigan

80

4

New Jersey

60

5

Ohio

57

T6

Georgia

54

T6

Pennsylvania

54

8

North Carolina

52

9

Texas

49

10

New York

48

We used Google Trends data to identify the top states by their search interest score, and since Michigan finished on the podium, we also used Google Trends to determine how Michiganders prefer their potatoes. The scores are based on searches conducted from May 14-21. State scores are based on the search for “potato recipe.” Search interest scores run on a 0-100 scale, with a score of 100 indicating the maximum interest during the period studied.

International Day of the Potato

The International Day of the Potato is a sequel. The UN made 2008 the International Year of the Potato, which it said has helped raise awareness of the potato’s importance in farming, the economy and food security.

Potatoes can get a bad rap as being unhealthy, But that’s more because of the fried products made from potatoes or the toppings applied to them. WebMD states that these types of tubers are “a decent source of fiber” and offer other health benefits, too.

For example, potatoes are rich in antioxidants that can reduce the likelihood of heart disease or cancer. It’s especially true if the potato is eaten with the skin on, and the more colorful the skin, the better.

Potatoes also provide potassium and magnesium. In fact, a large Russet potato that’s baked with the skin has 1,640 milligrams of potassium, four times the amount found in a medium-sized banana. Consuming potassium and magnesium can help people ward off high blood pressure and prevent strokes.

More About Potatoes And Michigan

Most people associate Idaho as the potato capital of the nation, but the potato also plays an integral part in Michigan’s economy.

According to a report released last year by the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University and the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, the state ranked eighth nationally for potato growing and sixth overall in sales. The nearly 1.9 billion pounds harvested were sold for $246.9 million.

Michigan’s Favorite Potato Recipes

Rank

Recipe

Search Interest Score

1

Potato Chip

44

2

French Fries

35

3

Mashed Potato

23

4

Baked Potato

14

5

Hash Browns

6

The Mitten State could also be called the Potato Chip State (check out our story on Michigan’s top potato chip flavors for more on the topic). The report found Michigan is the nation’s largest provider of potatoes for chip makers. Potatoes from the state account for about 25% of the bags American producers make each year.

And potato chips were the most popular form of the tubers, according to our research, with a search interest score of 44. That outpaced French fries (35 score) and mashed potatoes (23) on our list.

USA Today Network photo by Aimee Blume/Courier & Press

Author

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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