Are Non-Organic Potatoes Healthy?

Potatoes can be a very good nonfat, high-fiber food choice that can be enjoyed in a variety of healthful ways. Beware, however, that nonorganic potatoes are exposed to several doses of poisons.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program, potatoes are exposed to 35 pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, including 12 that are suspected hormone disruptors, 7 neurotoxins, 6 known or probable carcinogens, and 6 reproductive or developmental toxins.

Nonorganic potatoes are treated with fungicides while they are growing, the vines are sprayed with herbicides before harvest, and then once the potatoes are dug up, they are treated again to prevent them from sprouting.

One of the pesticides found on 76 percent of nonorganic potatoes is the herbicide chlorpropham, which inhibits sprouting of potatoes. The poison has been associated with retarded growth, increased weights of the liver, spleen, and kidneys, and death in animal studies.

You cannot wash away the chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh of the potato. The only safe solution is to buy organic potatoes.


Pesticide Action Network of North America. What’s on my food?

US Department of Agriculture. Pesticide Data Program.

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