Shortcut Navigation:

Preserving Potato Diversity in Peru

News posts

Between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago, local people in South America’s Andes Mountains bred a poisonous plant into edible potatoes. Thousands of kinds of potatoes still grow in the Andes, and different spots on the mountains—whether high or low, sunny or shady—have potatoes suited to that location.

Thousands of kinds of traditional potato varieties are grown in the Andes Mountains of South America.

© Jim Richardson


But climate change as well as urbanization mean that potato-farmers there face new challenges. With help from Lima’s International Potato Center, Andean farmers are preserving potato diversity to protect this critical food source against these threats, as this new video from Science Bulletins evocatively reveals.


Learn more about Andean potato diversity in the exhibition all about food, Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture, now open at the Museum.

Also: next Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30, taste different varieties of Peruvian potato chips in the working kitchen in the Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture exhibition. 

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions

Enlighten Your Inbox

Stay informed about Museum news and research, events, and more!