A Washington State University study has revealed that organic farming leads to larger potatoes than conventional farming.
An article in Seattle Times revealed that the secret to larger potatoes is a balanced mix of insects and fungi. Biodiversity in the field does a superior job of keeping pests at bay than chemical pesticides.
Hmm. Is it possible that nature works better than “science” from agricultural companies?
According to the article, consumer demand for potatoes laced with fewer or no pesticides has increased. Washington is the second largest producer of potatoes in the US, after Idaho, and yet less than 1% of potatoes in Washington are organically grown.
The USDA Pesticide Data Program in 2008 found 37 different pesticide residues on potatoes. For 2010, potatoes ranked number eleven on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” for the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables.
What should you do? Until the industry catches on, keep buying certified organic potatoes. It’s better for you and better for the environment. Or grow your own; harvesting potatoes is like digging for buried treasure. Very fun!