Re: Here is a question about 'The' ...
The writer could just as easily have started it with "Almost as soon as potatoes were introduced ..." and it would have meant the same thing. However, it is being used to describe "the food group - the potato" and it's entirely correct.
Originally Posted by ChrisKim
As far as readers thinking that the writer was talking about one specific potato being introduced, remember that a certain amount of common sense is required when reading. How likely is it that someone will write about one single, individual potato being introduced into a country? Not at all likely. Therefore, it is entirely reasonable to assume that they are writing about the introduction of that food species/group.
Would you be confused if you read "Prehistoric man invented the wheel"?
Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.