We’ve noticed a lot of commercially-grown potato advertizements recently for us to view. We also noticed that these potatoes were not grown locally and in fact some cases were trucked over 2,000 miles to be sold to us here in Potter County, Pennsylvania. To help us as food consumers make informed choices, we investigated some to gain a better understanding as to which vegetable (locally-grown organic or conventionally-grown) is better. To gather information from the large conventional producer point-of-view, we went to the Idaho Potato Commission website, a state agency that promotes the Idaho Potatoes, to find how they address the fact that large commercial growers have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.
Here’s what Dr. Potato (not a real doctor but the Food Service expert from the Potato Commission) says about it : “… ‘Commercially grown’ potatoes cannot be harvested or sold for human consumption until the crop meets minimum residue levels and traces of any chemical residual have dissipated. So, the commercial potato growers … have to wait to harvest the potatoes or would need to harvest and then store them till any residual trace of chemicals was below a ‘harmful’ level. So, ‘they’ chose to also grow ‘their’ own personal crop of vegetables organically which he can eat at any point in time, without having to wait…”
The answer given did help us understand why these farmers do not eat their own produce nor serve it to their families. It was indeed to avoid consuming the chemicals. We then wondered where exactly it was that those “dissipated chemical residual” go? To learn more, we gathered some more opinions.
Here’s another point-of-view from one of our local farmers and a Licensed Home Food Processor: Netra Magill Baker “If you do not think about the chemicals in your food, you do not care, but if you are aware of the chemicals it becomes the only thing that you think about.”
Here’s an opinion from Butch Davis, a chef and has been cooking all his life. And, he is also an accomplished gardener: “I’ll bet that they’ve never studied the deleterious effects of chemical versus organic farming on the soil and water. Get hold of and read the labels on some of the ‘chemical pesticide’ stuff you must be licensed to use, frightening at the least.”
We’ll let the consumers decide. We recommend the locally-grown vegetables without the added chemicals.
Source : Frequently Asked Questions, Do Potato Farmers Have Separate Fields for Their Personal Consumption?