Daily News Archive

This Hanukah, Why Not Go Organic?
(Beyond Pesticides, December 6, 2004)
Tomorrow night, December 7, marks the beginning of Hanukah, the Jewish holiday known as the “Festival of Lights.” Hanukah is a time for lighting the menorah, spinning the dreidel, eating good food, and spending time with loved ones—not a time for toxic chemicals to be making their way into your family’s holiday food.

Latkes, or potato pancakes, served with applesauce are the traditional food eaten on Hanukah. But both potatoes and apples are foods that are typically high in pesticides. Potatoes have been found to contain residues of the pesticides thiabendazole, endosulfans, and aldicarb—all 3 of which are hazardous, especially to children. Apples may have residues of chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate so dangerous to children that it was banned in homes, as well as 2,4-D, an herbicide with wide-ranging reproductive and neurotoxic effects. This Hanukah, protect your family, and go organic.

.Pesticide-Free Potato Pancakes

· 4 cups peeled, grated organic potatoes
· 1 large organic onion, chopped
· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
· 2 tablespoons unbleached organic flour
· 2 organic eggs
· Pepper (to taste)
· Organic olive oil


1. Wash, peel, and grate the potatoes. Squeeze out the excess liquid.

2. In a medium bowl, combine potatoes with onion, salt, flour, and pepper. Lightly beat the eggs, and stir into the mixture.

3. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels.

Serve latkes hot, and top with organic applesauce or sour cream.

For more information on pesticide residues in food, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Pesticides in Produce Report Card and our Organic Foods Program Page.