Saving the Potato in its Andean Birthplace

The Spanish conquistadors toppled the Inca Empire in the 16th century in their quest for silver and gold. They returned to Europe with a different sort of earthly nugget dug from the elaborate terraces sculpted into the sides of the Andes–the potato.

Potatoes have since spread to nearly 150 countries around the world; hundreds of millions of tons are grown annually, and the potato has become a staple in the world’s diet.