Lag Ba’omer: 3 facts about potatoes for 33 days of counting

Written by on April 29, 2021

In light of the potato’s popularity as a holiday cuisine, the Agricultural Ministry has published some interesting statistics about potatoes in Israel.

A potato grows in a field irrigated by recycled waste water in Kibbutz Magen in southern Israel November 15, 2010 (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

A potato grows in a field irrigated by recycled waste water in Kibbutz Magen in southern Israel November 15, 2010

(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Lag Ba’omer, which falls on Thursday evening, marks the 33rd day of the counting between Passover and Shavuot. The holiday is customarily celebrated with a bonfire and potatoes roasted over the fire.

In light of the potato’s popularity on the holiday, the Agricultural Ministry has published some interesting statistics about potatoes in Israel. 

In honor of the 33rd day of the Omer, here are 3 things you probably didn’t know about Israel’s potatoes:

1) Of the world’s agricultural produce, the potato is the fourth most produced and demanded crop, after corn, wheat, and rice. Over 370 million tons of potatoes are cultivated each year worldwide, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Israel produces 524,000 tons of potatoes each year, or a seventh of a percent of world production.

2) Almost half (250,000 tons) of Israel’s potatoes are for local use, while the remainder goes to raw industrial materials, seeds and exports (42% of Israel’s total vegetable exports).

3) An average Israeli eats around 40 kg. of potatoes throughout the course of a year, half as much as some countries in Europe – namely, Poland, Britain, Holland and Belgium, which may consume as much as 80 kg.-100 kg. annually per person. 

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