Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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Where did the potato sprouts go?


July 28, 2010
By Janine Yorio

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July 26, 2010 – I distinctly remember cutting off sprouts before
peeling potatoes when I was a child, but I have not seen a potato
sprout in more than twenty years. Where did the sprouts go?

July 26, 2010 – I distinctly remember cutting off sprouts before peeling potatoes when I was a child, but I have not seen a potato sprout in more than twenty years. Where did the sprouts go?

Potatoes, like apples, are typically harvested only once a year and then are stored in a cold storage facility until a grocer orders a shipment. In order to prevent potatoes from sprouting while they're in storage, growers spray them with an aerosol agent that regulates cell division. After being sprayed with the chemicals (typically chlorpropham or maleic hydrazide) potatoes arrive at the store looking perfect, unblemished, and without any sprouts for up to a year after harvest.

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As you might expect, the chemicals that prevent cell division in potatoes impact human cell division too. The implications on human fertility and fetal organogenesis are just now being discovered. For this reason, Japan and the European Union have already placed strict limitations on the usage of anti-sprouting chemicals.

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