Living in rural PEI, with 3 kids, this subject is something that is often on my mind.
With the price of organic potatoes being almost double that of conventional is it really worth it?
For me the answer is simple:
Where I live potatoes are kind of a big deal. P.E.I may be tiny but we produce 30% of the total Canadian potato crop, and it is our #1 cash crop, we grow almost 100,000 acres of potatoes annually.
Here is why choosing organic potatoes, is a priority to me.
- According to research done by Environmental Working Group, potatoes are among the most pesticide filled food (even after being peeled and cooked!)
- Many environmental reasons
- P.E.I. is growing a lot of potatoes and using a LOT of pesticides. P.E.I. also has a very high rate of rare cancers and it seems every other kid has asthma. This could be a coincidence. Then again, what if it’s not?
An article in particular from 2006 on Beyond Pesticides induced so much alarm in me that organic potatoes became my #1 organic food priority when planning my grocery budget. The article quoted Dr.Ron Matsusak who defined the cancer rates (specifically among children) on PEI as something “that defies statistics”. He stated that the statistics on PEI are closer to what would be expected near a hazardous waste site.
I also came across a similar article in the Globe and Mail.
In a recent article on Non-Toxic Kids (It’s Time to Fight for Clean Air), I was made aware of the US based group Moms Clean Air Force. I think it’s time to start a Canadian group with similar goals. There are feasible organic farming options, yet the choice of the majority of (potato) farmers is still to use pesticides, fungicides and herbicides with extreme health downfalls.
I will not support it.
Below is a link to a short video that sheds more light on the use of toxins in PEI.
There is a big price difference between conventional and organic potatoes in the grocery store, for a cheaper alternative consider buying farm direct or from a farmers market t(he freshness is just an added bonus).
Please consider what you are supporting by purchasing conventional produce.
Photo Credit: John Beales on Flickr.
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