Science

A New Google Doodle Celebrates the Life of Swedish Agronomist Eva Ekeblad

A New Google Doodle Celebrates the Life of Swedish Agronomist Eva Ekeblad”

Today's Google doodle is a salute to Eva Ekeblad, a Swedish scientist and agronomist who developed a method for making flour and alcohol from grinding potatoes. This discovery paved the way for gluten-free baking and alcohols such as vodka, moonshine and potato wine.

When she was 16 years old, Ekeblad was married off to Count Claes Claesson Ekeblad. She was a Swedish scientist well-known for learning that flour and alcohol can be prepared from potatoes.

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Her discovery helped to solve a food crisis in Sweden, when there was a shortage of cereals, such as oats and barley. Earlier, alcohol products, especially Vodka, was made only from wheat, rye and barley. Ekeblad's contribution made potatoes a staple food. She also wrote books on children, learning and numbers. Her achievements earned her a spot in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748 - the same organization that awards Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry. Potatoes were introduced in Sweden in the year 1658 and were grown in the greenhouses of the aristocracy. She was credited for helping reduce starvation globally because of her findings.

Besides her scientific exploits, Ekeblad lived a life of relative comfort as a member of the Swedish nobility. She also discovered that potatoes could be used to make potato flour by cooking, crushing and drying potatoes to create flour.

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Increasingly bedridden with ill health, Eva Ekeblad died at Mariedal in 1786, aged just 61, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy that has guided Western culinary customs ever since. The honor was not bestowed on another woman for the next 203 years.

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