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Subject: Treating Potatoes? (was: Cooking Potatoes)
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Madeline <madwen[at]mailbag.spammenot.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 12:45:06 -0500
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Do they spray stuff on potatoes to keep out bugs or make them keep 
longer? 

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From: A Ferszt <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 20:23:14 -0600
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Madwen wrote:
> Do they spray stuff on potatoes to keep out bugs or make them keep
> longer?

Usually yes...unless you buy organic potatoes.

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From: Madeline <madwen[at]mailbag.spammenot.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 14:09:40 -0500
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A Ferszt <biotech@ic.ac.uk> wrote:
> Madwen wrote:
> > Do they spray stuff on potatoes to keep out bugs or make them keep
> > longer?
> Usually yes...unless you buy organic potatoes.

What do they put on them and is it safer, then, to cook the non-organic 
types minus their skins?

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From: A Ferszt <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 21:01:30 -0600
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Madwen wrote:
> What do they put on them and is it safer, then, to cook the non-organic
> types minus their skins?

I'd need to look that up. Given that potatoes are generally
sprayed (pesticides/herbicides) several times up to
harvesting, don't think it would make much difference after
that. The act of peeling can transfer what's on the skin to
the flesh anyway. Just peel them if you like and wash them
after (not that much gets removed) or give them a good scrub
and leave the peels on. Given the total exposure to such
chemicals in most countries, it isn't going to add much more
anyway.

If that bothers you, then by all means buy organically-grown
produce.

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From: Madeline <madwen[at]mailbag.spammenot.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 09:46:20 -0500
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Ferszt <biotech@ic.ac.uk> wrote:
> If that bothers you, then by all means buy organically-grown
> produce.

I try to buy as much organically grown produce as possible but, at 
times--especially in winter-- some things are just not available.  So I am 
quite curious about the potato story as it relates to spraying and 
treating them.  One thing I do not comprehend is why they would be 
sprayed with a herbicide as you said. 

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From: Joan Ellis <joan3[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 18:27:22 -0700
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A Ferszt <biotech@ic.ac.uk> wrote:
>I'd need to look that up. Given that potatoes are generally
>sprayed (pesticides/herbicides) several times up to
>harvesting, don't think it would make much difference after

Since potatoes grow under the ground, how much spray actually gets on the tubers
themselves?

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From: JTEhler[at]aol.com
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 03:08:04 GMT
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Joan Ellis wrote:
> Since potatoes grow under the ground, how much spray actually gets on the tubers
> themselves?

The main chemicals that you would find on potatoes are the chemicals
applied to stored tubers or growing plants that can delay sprouting.

--
James (webmaster, chef, writer)
Blue Heaven Restaurant, Key West, FL
http://www.blueheavenkw.com

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From: Joan Ellis <joan3[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 22:00:57 -0700
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JTEhler@aol wrote:
>The main chemicals that you would find on potatoes are the chemicals
>applied to stored tubers or growing plants that can delay sprouting.

I realize that, but the post I was replying to said: 
"potatoes are generally sprayed (pesticides/herbicides) several times up to
harvesting," leaving a residue of chemicals on the potatoes. My point is that
spraying the potato plants will not get to the potatoes themselves as they are
under the ground.

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 29 Aug 2000 05:35:09 GMT
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Joan Ellis wrote:
>I realize that, but the post I was replying to said: 
>"potatoes are generally sprayed (pesticides/herbicides) several times up to
>harvesting," leaving a residue of chemicals on the potatoes. My point is that
>spraying the potato plants will not get to the potatoes themselves as they
>are under the ground.

The pesticides used are systemic, that is they're absorbed through the foilage
and then travel throughout the entire plant.

sys*tem*ic [1] (adjective)

First appeared 1803

 : of, relating to, or common to a system: as

   a : affecting the body generally

   b : supplying those parts of the body that receive blood through the aorta
rather than through the pulmonary artery

   c : of, relating to, or being a pesticide that as used is harmless to the
plant or higher animal but when absorbed into its sap or bloodstream makes the
entire organism toxic to pests (as an insect or fungus)

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From: Joan Ellis <joan3[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 22:01:59 -0700
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Sheldon wrote:
>The pesticides used are systemic, that is they're absorbed through the foilage
>and then travel throughout the entire plant.

Systemic pesticides are not generally used on food crops. And the discussion was
about chemicals *on* the potatoes, not *in* them.

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From: Charles L. Gifford <saiga[at]concentric.net>
Date: 30 Aug 2000 09:28:03 GMT
--------
Joan Ellis wrote:
> Systemic pesticides are not generally used on food crops. 

Systemic pesticides and herbicides are I believe used extensively
now on food crops. It is without doubt the most effective way to
combat these problems. Similar to the work going on, and crops
now planted that have been altered to provide their own
pesticides and herbicides.

> And the discussion was
> about chemicals *on* the potatoes, not *in* them.

I think that that is nit picking. Chemicals ON plants are to some
extent going to be IN plants whether they are systemic chemicals
or not.

Charlie

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 30 Aug 2000 10:02:07 GMT
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Me too. ;)

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From: Joan Ellis <joan3[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 19:06:33 -0700
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>Systemic pesticides and herbicides are I believe used extensively
>now on food crops. It is without doubt the most effective way to
>combat these problems. Similar to the work going on, and crops

I see that I'm outnumbered, My information must be out of date. 

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From: "Charles L. Gifford" <saiga[at]concentric.net>
Date: 31 Aug 2000 09:02:50 GMT
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Joan Ellis wrote:
>  My information must be out of date.

<smile> Yes, that could be. It is amazing what has been going on
in agriculture even within the last 10 or 15 years. The progress
now seems to be exponential and undoubtedly some huge issues are
going to have to be faced before much longer. Already we see the
beginnings of this with the growing outcry against genetically
altered food crops and livestock.

Charlie

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From: Joan Ellis <joan3[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 18:55:12 -0700
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A big objection that I have recently heard about is that there is a danger to
the Monarch butterfly. The pollen of Bt corn is toxic to their larvae, as it is
to all caterpillars. The danger to the butterfly is just an unintended
consequence. A description of the danger can be found here in a letter to the
EPA.

 http://www.ucsusa.org/agriculture/browner.aug11.html
   
It's interesting that danger to a butterfly can be an important argument against
genetically altered food crops.

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From: Madeline <madwen[at]mailbag.spammenot.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2000 12:42:30 -0500
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Joan Ellis wrote:
> It's interesting that danger to a butterfly can be an important 
> argument against genetically altered food crops.

A warning.... sort of like a canary in a mineshaft.  I just hope it is 
not too late.

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 30 Aug 2000 09:55:42 GMT
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Joan Ellis wrote:
>Systemic pesticides are not generally used on food crops. 

Systemic pesticides most certainly are used on food crops, in fact most all
modern agricultural pesticides are systemic (read definition carefully, try not
moving your lips).

"Systemic"
c : of, relating to, or being a pesticide that as used is harmless to the plant
or higher animal but when absorbed into its sap or bloodstream makes the entire
organism toxic to pests (as an insect or fungus)

>And the discussion was about chemicals *on* the potatoes, not *in* them.

Was?  The discussion *is* about the topic: Treating Potatoes (see Subject).  
Twats like you, Joan, do not tell me what to write... behave yourself.

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From: RED1111[at]webtv.net (22 22)
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 19:49:11 -0400 (EDT)
--------
put   a apple in the bag with the potatoes   it will keep them from
budding  in the bag.   if u need me   RED1111@webtv.net


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