Monday, December 30, 2013

Who Needs Potatoes?

A trip to our cellar these days is like navigating an obstacle course for there are many boxes of potatoes stored in the cool darkness. The harvest of potatoes was much easier this year due to a new (to us, anyway) potato digger and a new storage system. Arthur built a series of these beautiful storage crates and each variety is neatly sorted and stacked in the coolness of our cellar.
I can almost understand why folks might choose to purchase conventionally-grown potatoes if one is shopping based only on price. But for folks making efforts to make food choices beneficial to their health, there are many experts who have targeted potatoes as one of the dirtiest of the dirty dozen.
In 2006, the U.S.D.A. found 81 percent of potatoes tested still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled, and the potato has one of the the highest pesticide content of 43 fruits and vegetables tested.
But pesticides are only part of the picture in conventional potato production. Potatoes are treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting and after they're dug, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.
Michael Pollan sums it all up in "Botany of Desire:
"The typical potato grower stands in the middle of a bright green circle of plants that have been doused with so much pesticide that their leaves wear a dull white chemical bloom and the soil they're rooted in is a lifeless gray powder."
How's your organic potato store this winter? We still have a nice supply of organic potatoes in many colors, tastes and textures. If you buy 20 lbs. or more, the price is now just 50 cents a pound. Call or send an email to We can also deliver.

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