Transition: Potato Day in Stroud, England

[Watch this sweet little film… -DS]


Why Organic Potatoes?

Whenever I’m at the grocery store trying to decide if organic potatoes are worth the price, I always think about what Jeffrey Moyer, farm director of the Rodale Institute and chair of the National Organic Standards Board, once said: “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”

Root vegetables absorb whatever is in the soil. So, if herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are in the soil, they become part of the potato, too. In other words, you can’t wash it off. In addition, potatoes are treated with fungicides during the growing season, and then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. Once the potatoes are harvested, they are often treated again with more herbicides to prevent them from sprouting.

What to do? Grow and buy organic. If the farmer growing the potato with all those chemicals won’t eat it, why should you?
See also: Transition Ukiah!
…and Mendocino Coast Transition
…and Gardens Project Mendo

One Comment

And doesn’t it all seem painfully self-evident?

I can recall as a little kid (many, many moons ago) watching my dad dust some insecticide on his small vegetable garden, and realizing that it wasn’t going to “wash off”; it was going to be incorporated into the plants and we would be eating it. If an eight-year-old can figure this out, what happened to the adults?