doomsdayvault.jpg

See that picture? That right there is the last, best hope of humanity when everything in the world finally goes completely to shit.

That is

"/>

Doomsday Potatoes, in Anticipation of the End of the World

doomsdayvault.jpg

See that picture? That right there is the last, best hope of humanity when everything in the world finally goes completely to shit.

That is the front door of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (otherwise known as the Doomsday Vault), which houses somewhere around 400,000 seed samples, keeping them safe against calamity, storing them for that day when the zombies/aliens/killer space fungus arrives and wipes out all vegetable life on planet earth. In the event that some terrible catastrophe should happen (and enough farmers survive to someday make tending crops possible again), this is where carrots will come from. And lettuce. And chile peppers. And now, Peruvian potatoes.

The Global Seed Vault is actually a fail-safe program, funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which holds duplicates of seeds already stored in a variety of gene banks around the world. It's there in case of a total global clusterfuck--the kind of thing that wipes out life everywhere. But up until this week, it contained no varieties of Peruvian potatoes, and, as everyone knows, Peru is where the potato was born. Or at least where a lot of the potatoes we know today originated.

According to an article in Fast Company, "activists and scientists from the Parque de la Papa plan to send some of the 4,000 varieties of native potatoes found in the Andes to the seed bank. The potatoes, which will come from the Cusco Potato Park, will include unique varieties like the banana-shaped ttalaco (used in distillation) and the red moro boli (prized for its high antioxidant content)--and of course, more common red, yellow, and purple potatoes."

Which means that, after the bombs have dropped and after the nuclear winter has ended, we will have plenty of access to those purple Peruvian potatoes that fancy-pants chefs so love using on their menus. Provided, that is, someone can get all the way up to Spitsbergen island (about 800 miles from the North Pole), get into the vault, and bring the seeds back to a place which isn't totally frozen, 365 days a year.

It's going to take a few years for conservationists to collect and prepare the seeds for housing inside the vault. But provided we can hold off the end of the world for that long, some 4,000 varieties of potatoes native to the Andes will be preserved. Which, as a big fan of the potato in all its many forms, will make me sleep a little easier at night because as soon as the zombies come, now I know exactly where I'm headed.

Svalbard: Last bastion of the Doomsday Potato.

To stay up to date on all zombie and potato-related news, follow me on Twitter at @Jason_Sheehan.

 
comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow