Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where do potatoes last the longest?



My wife and I made separate grocery shopping trips this week, and we each bought a five pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes. The second bag will be used in an experiment to see which storage conditions yield the longest shelf life. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, dry cellar, but we live in a third-floor, one-story apartment.

Potatoes are cheaper in bulk, so we often purchase a lot of them at once. Then it is a race against the clock to eat them before they start to go bad. Usually we end up throwing out the last couple of potatoes from a five pound bag.

Going Bad:
Potatoes go bad in different ways. The three main ways we see here are:

  1. Shrinking - Potatoes shrivel when they are exposed to high humidity.
  2. Greening up - This is caused by exposure to light.
  3. Sprouting - Sprouting is caused when potatoes are warmed. Moisture and light also contribute. It's the most common way for a potato to "go bad". This is the worst. It looks gross and unappetizing. I've heard the sprouting eyes are toxic. Maybe that's not true, but who wants to take chances with food?
The potatoes may technically be edible after they turn these ways, but they are in a competition with everything else in the kitchen for my appetite. They won't win their way into a meal if they are ugly.


Setup:
The bag contained 13 potatoes. Four potatoes were stored together in a plastic bag in each of these conditions:
  1. Pantry closet: This is a regular upright closet in the middle of the apartment. It is dark and dry, but there's little air circulation. It also may be a bit warmer since it's farthest from the exterior walls and windows.
  2. Crisper drawer: The crisper is the coldest part of the fridge. These may have an advantage because they are in the original bag, whereas the others are in checkout bags.
  3. Top shelf of the fridge: A fridge may be a bit too cold according to some sources. Our fridge has high humidity from condensation freezing and melting at the base of the freezer compartment, which is on the top. It's a sort of crummy refrigerator.

The extra potato:
You may have caught that there's a leftover potato. He got stuck in the hand-fruit basket on the dining room table. I have the lowest hopes for him. He will green up from the light and warm up and start to sprout. I'm gonna call him Sean.



I'm going to eat a couple of the potatoes from each group over the next couple of weeks. I'll make notes about their flavor and texture. At least one potato from each group will be allowed to go bad in one way or another. This may take a few weeks.


Hypotheses:
  1. The potatoes stored in the pantry will last the longest.
  2. Sean will go bad first.
  3. I won't be able to tell any difference when I eat the potatoes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My hip-hop posse would include...

Dorian Arnold
Tallness


Ben Banks
Class


Tom Kolos
Animal Magnetism


Tony Przybysz
Madd Skilz


John Przybysz Jr
OG Cred


Monday, January 5, 2009

An Italian Seagull

Got a good look at some seagulls today in person, after drawing this. Gino gort of looks more like a pigeon.



Evan saw today's drawing and told me again that my art alternately amuses and disturbs him. I don't know if this one did both or one or the other. We got a new coworker with a similar-sounding moniker and I couldn't help myself. I wish my name sounded like a thing.

This is one of the lowest forms of comedy but I am not going to apologize to no one.