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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Foodie Feature: Purple Pride Pies

It's no secret that I am a big K-State Fan. I've stood in line for a picture with Willie. I've crowd surfed in the student section at The Bill in Coach Snyder's earlier glory days. I've chanted along to an ear-deafening "Fra-nk Mar-tin. Clap clap, clap clap clap" in the Octagon of Doom. And I'll admit to belting out the fight song while bobbing to the Wabash.

"Fight, you K-State Wildcats! For Alma Mater Fight! Fight! Fight! Glory into combat for the Purple and the White!"

Well, you get the point.

Now you see why I could revel in the kind of K-State fandom this Foodie Feature reaches. It's a new level folks!

A horticulture professor here at Kansas State University, Ted Carey, cloned the most colorful purple sweet potato plants that he grew from seeds taken from the International Potato Center in Ghana. The result, brilliantly-colored purple potatoes that are very sweet.

A researcher in our department of human nutrition, George Wang, found that the purple sweet potatoes have a significantly higher level of anthocyanin. Anthocyanin derivatives inhibit human colon cancer cell growth in cultured human colorectal cancer cells. Wang's research attracted Soyoung Lim from Korea and Tzu-Yu Chen from Taiwan who have come to K-State to focus in cancer preventative nutrition research.

Trading in their test tubes and petri dishes, the team decided to turn these special spuds into something people would enjoy. Purple sweet potato pies were baked, tasted and deemed a success! Since the purple sweet potatoes are naturally sweeter, the recipe calls for less sugar.

"I hope we can promote a health food for functional cancer prevention," Wang said. "Our research is focused on cancer prevention so we hope to translate our discovery from lab to humans."

Talk about Purple Power!!!


  1. I heard about the purple sweet potatoes on the radio. Pretty awesome!

  2. This is amazing! I would love to give those potatoes a try.

  3. While working for the Horticulture Department at K-State, I was fortunate enough to meet Ted Carey, the man behind the purple potatoes! While he has since left the position at K-State, Carey is truly interested in feeding the growing world population and has worked all around the world with the International Potato Center. I marvel at his ability to think on the sustainable agriculture level.



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