When Does a Potato Become an Imitation Potato?


There are lots of varieties of potato. Right off the top of my head I can name red, gold and russet.  From potatogoodness.com we find that

There are more than 100 varieties of potatoes sold throughout the United States. Each of these varieties fit into one of seven potato type categories: russet, red, white, yellow, blue/purple, fingerling and petite.

There is about to be a brand new variety on your store shelf, one never before seen in the history of the world, one that can trace it’s lineage to the genetic laboratories of agribusiness giant J.R. Simplot.


This potato will be called Innate. You won’t find Innate potatoes next to the red potato bin in the vegetable aisle. Innate’s claim to extra value comes from the fact that it has been genetically modified to not brown after it has been cut. Innate will be found in the fresh-cut section of your store already peeled and cut up for you. The slices will all gleam white, no matter how long they have been in the bag. You will be buying convenience. Think of the minutes you will save not having to cut up your potatoes. Simplot bets that you will pay a premium for this. According to this in Mother Jones…

…the strategy is to directly target the US consumer. Coles says the company will be introducing its product in test markets “this spring or summer.” And since the FDA doesn’t require the labeling of GMO foods, consumers may not know they’re engineered. But the potatoes still have to be marketed as improved, or they won’t command a premium price. Cole offered this pitch: “Since Innate potatoes provide less bruise and less black spot and browning when peeled, as well as less asparagine, they provide a sustainable, healthy option for consumers, especially in the fresh-whole and fresh-cut markets where no preservatives or additives are needed,” he said. He emphasized that “fresh-cut” potatoes are a new category, and expressed confidence that consumers would embrace the convenience.

Of course the FDA doesn’t require them to be labeled! They also don’t require them to be tested for safety on humans or animals or at all. The potato is GRAS (generally regarded as safe). We all know without any other information that this potato will be safe, too.

Fresh cut potatoes are a new category. Innate potatoes are a new creation. You will be tempted by the healthy option… asparagine-free potatoes. Asparagine is something in a potato that may or may not be associated with cancer. Nobody knows, but asparagine-free is about to join that long list of ‘free’ products that you just can’t, suddenly, live without. Fat-free, gluten-free, calorie-free are all related. First they invent the harmful ingredient, then they design the heath-claiming label, then you decide you need the healthier option. Win! Win!

There may not be a thing in the world wrong with this GMO potato. They won’t be required to tell you it is modified. I bet they won’t tell you it is modified. They will count on you not even wondering why now you can have cut and peeled potatoes right there in the vegetable case. Fresh-cut potatoes that you don’t have to peel! Gee Whiz!

I will be protected from any potential harm from this new-to-Earth creation, because it will come in a bag. This product will be boldly emblazoned with a health claim–Asparagaine-Free! This violates two of my shopping principles–don’t buy foods in bags, boxes or bottles, and don’t buy foods with health claims on the label. I wish you luck, J.R. Simplot. You will not hook this fish with your flashy package and claims to improved health product. If it’s not right next to the red potatoes, I will never even see it.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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1 Response to When Does a Potato Become an Imitation Potato?

  1. Pingback: Too Old To Eat | One Small Change at a Time

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