Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Week 28: Potatoes

Potatoes were a staple when I was growing up.  Every night for supper, we would have meat, mashed potatoes and gravy, some sort of other veggie and fruit (both canned).  Potatoes were cheap and filling, both important qualities for my parents who were/are farmers struggling to make ends meet.

Naturally, when I started preparing my own food as a young adult, I structured my meals in much the same way.  After getting married, I incorporated Hubby's upbringing into our meals and we started having much more variety.  Through it all, potatoes maintained their position of importance in our diet.

As I started to scrutinize all of our food for health and safety, I found that potatoes always make an appearance on EWG's Dirty Dozen list.  EWG (Environmental Working Group) is an organization that tests the most frequently purchased produce for levels of dangerous toxins (pesticides, herbicides, etc.).  The Dirty Dozen are the worst foods to purchase conventionally grown-organic should be purchased if at all possible.  There is also a Clean 15 List of produce that usually has very low levels of toxins and would be fine to purchase those that are conventionally grown.

After closer examination, I found this article highlighting why even potato farmers won't eat conventionally grown potatoes (among other things).  Great!  Add potatoes to my "to do" list!  For the past several months, I've been looking at the organic potatoes and unless I find a sale (unusual), they are just out of my price range.  I'm not able to afford $6-$8 for 5 pounds of potatoes.  So we've just seriously cut our potato consumption.  A year ago we probably had potatoes 2-3 times a week and over the past couple of months, I've dropped that to once every other week or so.  That had been the case until 2 weeks ago.  A local grocery store, Gerbes-part of Kroger, has 3 pounds of organic potatoes for $2.49, and it seems to be the regular price, not a sale.  So, while we will be eating potatoes a little more frequently now (maybe once a week), I can feel better about getting the organic version and not breaking the bank.  Keep in mind, the price is still more than conventionally grown, so I probably won't ever be eating potatoes for every meal again (not that that was a great idea to begin with), but they are a great treat here and there.

One more thing... While I love my well buttered mashed potatoes, the new dairy free version of our family can't eat them, so I've been cooking the potatoes in homemade chicken broth and then draining the broth off, reserving it.  I mash them and add the broth as needed to thin the potatoes out.  They aren't quite the same, but are wonderful with chicken gravy!

1 comment:

  1. organic potatoes ARE expensive! we don't eat them often either. A great way to get our potato fix though is to do baked potatoes, organic russets are 1.99/lb here and we each get one, though we generally only eat half in one sitting! Usually ends up being a $5 organic meal, not too bad!


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