livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink

The Health Risks of Eating Conventional Potatoes

Whenever I think about a lot of the food that I ate growing up, it isn’t overly pleasant. It was the standard American diet with all of the processed, fast food that most of the country still consumes today.

Fortunately, my childhood took place before the emergence of GMOs (mid-90s) and growth hormone milk (late 80s), so I escaped some of the really bad things when my body was in its crucial stage of development.

One food that I fondly remember eating, and loving, at family dinners was potatoes. And it wasn’t just the insides of the potatoes. I particularly loved eating the skins. Yet, little did I or my parents know just how toxic they were.

When many people think of the most important foods to be eating organic, potatoes do not immediately come to mind as quickly as apples, grapes, or spinach do. But they should and here’s why.

THE PROBLEMS WITH CONVENTIONAL POTATOES

1) According to the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program, 35 different pesticides have been found on conventional potatoes.

And out of these 35:

– 6 are known or probably carcinogens

– 12 are suspected hormone disruptors

– 7 are neurotoxins

– 6 are developmental or reproductive toxins

The chemical that is found on 76% of all conventional potatoes is chlorpropham, an herbicide that is used to stop the growth of weeds and to inhibit potato sprouting.

Not only is this chemical toxic to honey bees, but according to the Extension Toxicology Network, chronic exposure of laboratory animals to chlorpropham has caused “retarded growth, increased liver, kidney and spleen weights, congestion of the spleen, and death.”

2) As a root vegetable, potatoes absorb all of the pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides that are sprayed above the ground and then eventually make their way into the soil.

With potatoes, however, the chemical treatment is quite extensive.

During growing season – They get treated with fungicides

Before harvesting – They get sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines

After being dug up – They get sprayed again to prevent them from sprouting

3) Quite often, the most important information about a food is what growers or “insiders” have to say about it.

Jeff Moyer, farm director at the Rodale Institute and former chair of the National Organic Standards Board, has been quoted as saying “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.”

ORGANIC POTATOES ARE THE ANSWER

Needless to say, when I eat potatoes, I only eat organic potatoes because organic production does not allow for the use of all of these toxic chemicals.

Please share this post with your friends and family, so they can be purchasing the safest potatoes possible.

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