Memorandum takes aim at agricultural runoff

Published 4:38 pm Saturday, January 21, 2012

Everyone should be very excited about this.

On Jan. 17, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Minnesota to develop a new state program for farmers designed to increase the voluntary adoption of conservation practices that protect local rivers, streams and other waters by reducing fertilizer run-off and soil erosion.

What does that mean for us? Less agricultural run-off. Cleaner water. And hopefully, less chemicals.

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I watched a short video the other day that a middle school student put out for a Science Fair Project where she accidentally found out about the importance of organics.

She and her grandmother were trying to find out how long it would take to get a sweet potato to sprout. They stuck toothpicks in the sweet potato and submerged the half of it in water.

After weeks, nothing had happened.

They went to a local supermarket and talked to the produce manager, who told them it would never sprout because it had been treated with a chemical called Bud Nip aka Chlorpropham.

He told them to try and get an organic potato to sprout, and within a week they had glorious long green sprouts.

After some research, they discovered that Bud Nip has caused tumors in laboratory animals.

It is applied to many other vegetables and fruits including blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, onions, spinach, beets and cranberries.

The chemical is disbursed throughout the produce and cannot be washed off. Disturbing news indeed.

And even more reason to buy chemical free produce.