World farm land devoted to the spud now measures and estimate 74,000 square miles. Put all that land together and it's bigger than all the states in New England.
In 1872 plant wizard Luther Burbank found a single mutation in his potato garden. He planted it the following season and grew 23 new potato plants. They became the foundation for the Russet Burbank, America's most planted potato.
In the 19th century, baked potatoes were sold to factory workers on the late shift. Not only were these baked spuds nutritious, workers put them in their pockets to keep their hands warm.
No one eats more potatoes than folks in the Republic of Belarus, formerly part of the Soviet Union. The country consumes 397 pounds of potatoes per capita: over a pound of potatoes a day for every man, woman, and child.
Narrator: They're the ultimate comfort food and the world's most productive crop. Mash em, bake em, freeze em, just make sure you duck when you fire em. From the Andes to Ireland, from Idaho to outer space they're everyone's favorite tuber. Chips, fries, even spirits, gangs all here. So get off that couch and keep your eyes peeled, because it's the Potato, on Modern Marvels.