All hail the king of comfort foods: The benefits of organic potatoes

For a lot of people, nothing says “comfort food” better than a steaming bowl of mashed potatoes — or a helping of french fries, fresh off the fryer. Of course, eating fried potatoes may increase a person’s risk of dying early, but that shouldn’t stop people from eating these delectable spuds.

In his video, Dr. Mason of Mason Wellness Center talks about how organic potatoes are his secret ingredient in staying lean and fit, as well as the benefits of planting your own crops.

Watch the full episode from here:

Going for organic potatoes

Potatoes have come a long way from the Andes in South America, where it is endemic. It’s now one of the major food crops in the world, with over 41.3 billion pounds harvested each year. However, most of these are commercially grown and are exposed to pesticides: Potatoes, in particular, are part of EWG’s Dirty Dozen for this year, which lists produce with the highest amounts of pesticide residues.

Here are just some of the health benefits that a person could get from organic potatoes:

  • Organic potatoes are noted to contain higher levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than conventional variants. It also has lesser nitrates and heavy metals.
  • Potatoes are great sources of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, and dietary fiber.
  • The starch in potatoes is easily digestible and converted into glucose. However, people with conditions such as diabetes should have a portion size of no more than ¼ of a plate; otherwise, they risk wreaking havoc on their blood sugar levels.
  • Potatoes are rich in antioxidant-containing phytonutrients which help prevent free radical damage and reduce the risk of aging and disease.
  • Potatoes improve conditions including gastric hyperacidity and ulcers of the stomach and duodenum. It can also protect against cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  • The skins, which most people peel, contain most of the nutrients found in the potato.
  • Potatoes are low in calories but high in fiber.

“It’s nice knowing where your food came from,” Mason adds. “No pesticides, no anti-sprouting chemicals on those — truly organic.”

Growing your own spuds

Spring is the best time to start growing potatoes — especially two weeks after the last spring frost. If it’s a “late” spring, the crops can be planted even up to June. Here are some things to consider when planting potatoes. (h/t to

  • Dig a trench about 6 inches wide and 8 inches deep using a hoe or a round-point shovel. Make sure to taper the bottom to about 3 inches wide.
  • Space rows about 3 feet apart.
  • Mix in organic compost or rotted manure in the bottom of the trench.
  • Place a potato seed piece, cut side down, in the trench. Make sure to space each seed by at least 12 inches.
  • Cover with 3 to 4 inches of soil.
  • After the sprouts appear, gently fill in the trench with another 3 to 4 inches of soil — leaving just a few inches of the plants exposed. (This is called hilling.)
  • Repeat after several weeks, this time until the soil is around 5 inches about ground level.
  • Add organic mulch between the rows after the plant has emerged to conserve moisture, prevent weed growth, and cool the soil. (Related: Want bigger, healthier potatoes? Use straw mulch; it improves soil quality and suppresses weeds.)

It’s important that no sunlight falls on the tubers; otherwise, they will turn green and become inedible (or even poisonous). The crop also needs even moisture, requiring 1 to 2 inches of water per week. The spuds can be harvested after the plant’s foliage have already died — preferably, during a dry day.

When storing potatoes, don’t store them with apples, since this will cause the potatoes to spoil quickly.

Learn more about the other health benefits of potatoes at

Sources include:

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