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Mayan Gold tatties for Tayside food banks

Mayan Gold tatties for Tayside food banks
Mayan Gold
“We had a good harvest of Mayan Gold and Vales Sovereign potatoes this year despite all the disruptions due to COVID19, and given it has been a hard year for many we saw this as an opportunity to do something positive and help communities across Tayside”

Mayan Gold and Vales Sovereign potatoes developed in Tayside by the James Hutton Institute and grown on Hutton research farms as part of a long-term trial of sustainable cultivation methods are being donated to food banks across Tayside in time for Christmas.

Mayan Gold in particular is a great roasting potato and ideal for the main Christmas fare. During the COVID19 lockdown several conversations with local councillors, MSPs, MPs and local food banks identified an opportunity to supply the potatoes as an ideal source of a highly nutritious staple. It is hoped this will encourage others in the growing sector to donate fresh produce to those who need it most.

The James Hutton Institute soil and crop specialists have been working with various local food initiatives advising on how to grow soft fruit and vegetables and their social scientists are also involved in how to engage communities to tackle food insecurity. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates in its Destitution in the UK 2020 report that the number of households across the UK that have experienced destitution – including a lack of food - during the year has increased 35% between 2017 and 2019. Regrettably around 88 million tonnes of food, or about 20% of production, are estimated to be wasted each year across Europe, and avoiding food waste has been identified as a significant way in which industry and consumers can help protect our climate.

Euan Caldwell, head of Farm, Field and Glasshouses at the Institute, said: “We had a good harvest of Mayan Gold and Vales Sovereign potatoes this year despite all the disruptions due to COVID19, and given it has been a hard year for many we saw this as an opportunity to do something positive and help communities across Tayside.”

Professor Derek Stewart, Hutton agri-food sector lead, added: “Mayan Gold is a variety bred in Tayside. It has yellow tubers and golden flesh, with a long, oval shape, high dry matter and a superb flavour.

“They make great roast potatoes for the festive season and are absolutely delicious. Their colour is due to pigments which help avoid it going off and the short cooking time required means they are energy saving too. Mayan Gold is also being trialled in Kenya where charcoal for cooking is scarce and having a delicious potato that cooks easily in half the time of other varieties is a distinct advantage.

“Similarly, Vales Sovereign potatoes will be a familiar name to many, with their creamy flesh and superb eating quality.”

The first shipments are going to Dundee’s Food Insecurity Network which comprises 25 groups across the city and local charity Alexander’s provides a central distribution hub. They can be contacted via their website www.alexander-scotland.co.uk. Other shipments are going out various distribution points across the region.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/mayan-gold-tatties-tayside-food-banks on 04/08/21 09:50:47 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.