Old article, but read
You need to take a college level class in nutrition like I did for nursing and then doctor school. Go read about protein needs. I erred in saying potatoes didn't have protein--I view it, as the nutritionists who taught me and wrote books and journal articles on it, as a starch rather than a protein source, and I'm more concerned about foods that affect the eyes in any case. I should have said they have inadequate protein. I was correct about the incomplete protein. The USRDA says the average baking potato contains 6% of the daily allowance of protein. Are you planning on eating 17 potatoes a day? I'm not.
Furthermore, the potato has insufficient amounts of essential amino acids (the ones that the body can't make itself), and thus is an incomplete protein.
An adult needs 1400 mg of the amino acid isoleucine. The baked potato with skin provides 101 mg.
Leucine: adult needs 2730mg, potato provides 150mg
Lysine: adult needs 2100 mg, potato provides 152mg
Methionine+Cysteine: 1050mg, potato provides 70mg
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine: 1750mg, potato provides 202mg
Threonine: 1050mg, potato provides 91mg
Tryptophan: 280mg, potato provides 39mg
Valine: 1820mg, potato provides 140mg.
Furthermore, most of the protein is located right below the skin. If you remove the skin before cooking the potato, you lose a lot of the protein, and then the potato's protein contribution drops dramatically.
You also need to learn what sprouted grains
are. Potatoes are not germinated seeds, they are tubers
. There is a difference. Before you lecture me again on getting my facts straight, you'd better make sure you have yours straight, too. There's a reason why potatoes aren't mentioned nearly very often in vegan/vegetarian diet books. It's because the protein content is not nearly as good as soy, eggs, milk/cheese (all of which are complete proteins) and grains and legumes, which, while incomplete, have enough of some essential proteins in a reasonable serving that when combined provide the equivalent of a complete protein (e.g. refried beans on a corn or whole-wheat tortilla). Potatoes are calorically dense, but not as nutrient or protein dense, as grains and legumes.
I've been to France. I lived with two different families while I was there. Both families served meat every day. They also grew their own vegetable patches since groceries are more expensive there with the higher taxes. My husband spent several weeks in Germany. They had meat every day, too. Meat is a large part of the European diet, as it is here, so I'd like to see your data on their diet and land use for animals vs. grains/other foods. I would also be interested in seeing how much is imported.
So Europe has to be more careful with their land usage. Fine for them. What's that have to do with the US? It's a different continent. Our needs are different, our wants are different. It's not that big of a deal to have suburban areas here. You're getting your panties in knots over something that isn't a problem here, other than fuel usage, which our gov't is addressing. We could expand all the suburban areas ten-fold and still not make much of a dent in the amount of land going completely unused in the rural parts of this country. I'd also like to point out that those of us who live in single family dwellings wouldn't be able to have our fruit and veggie patches in our backyards if we lived in dinky urban condos, so we wouldn't be able to contribute to our families nutritionally or to increasing greenspace.