Brave New Potato

Val Giddings November 17, 2014
November 17, 2014

On November 7, the US Department of Agriculture cleared the path to commercialization for a “genetically modified” potato that will be more resistant to disease and insects than current varieties. This is big for a host of reasons, but at the top of the list is one: French fries. The United States alone produces some 20 million pounds of potatoes each year, two thirds of which wind up in frozen products. Most of those are French fries. The American consumer eats 120lb of potatoes per year, on average while global potato production is about 73 billion pounds/year.  This new variation will reduce pesticide use and crops lost to blight increasing efficiency, reducing environmental impact and producing better yields overall.