For countless generations, kids in elementary classrooms around the world have been able to discover the miracle of nature by sticking a few toothpicks in a potato, suspending it in water and watching it sprout into an entirely new plant. When budding scientist Elise decided to conduct the same simple experiment in order to observe the growth rate of a sweet potato for herself, she discovered first hand the effects of pesticide use on the food from her local grocery store. After three weeks of waiting for a sprout, Elise did a little investigative research and decided to conduct another experiment to compare the commercial sweet potato with both organic and local varieties. Her (astonishing) results are provided in this short video:
The Environmental Protection Agency cautions of numerous health risks associated with the consumption of pesticides:
Laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time. However, these effects depend on how toxic the pesticide is and how much of it is consumed. Some pesticides also pose unique health risks to children.
To reproduce this experiment for yourself, take a look at this step by step instructional, and if you are interested in a few tips on how to avoid or cut down on exposure to pesticides at the grocery store, check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce where they break down a succinct list of the most and least contaminated foods.