Where’s the beef?

Who cares?  But, potatoes from Washington and Idaho will soon be on their way to South Korea thanks to Gov.Chris Gregoire.  I bet you didn’t even know that our potatoes were banned – actually fresh potatoes still are, but not those used for potato chips.  Our potatoes were banned because of Zebra chip.

An estimated 20,000 metric tons of potato chip potatoes were contracted to be sent to South Korea, Harris said.

“We’re thankful that the Korean government and U.S. government were able to sit down and talk about mitigation tools to make sure trade stays fluid,” he said.

Harris said the market on fresh potatoes is still closed, but there are continuing efforts to find a solution. There are about 3,000 metric tons of fresh potatoes from the three Pacific Northwest states that are still held up while those talks continue.

Harris said that the lifting of the ban clears the way for more than $5 million in exports between now and the end of the year.

  • DLBarch

    “…providing jobs from farm to fork.”

    Catchy. I like it!


  • Benjamin Wagner

    “Our potatoes . . .”? Are you a Washingtonian or an Idahoan?

  • robert neff


  • enomoseki

    US companies have to stop using all those chemical crap on their natural food products, then other countries wouldn’t ban US food.

  • StevieBee

    I wonder what it will take to get potatoes in supermarkets that aren’t ludicrously overpriced and so old that they bounce?

  • SomeguyinKorea


    I grew up in potato farming country. When I was a student, you could get a 50lbs bag for 2$ at the gas station when you filled up your car. I imagine farmers nowadays don’t get much more than 5$ for that same 50lbs.

    Considering the price they sell potatoes here, can you imagine the ridiculous profit they’d make importing potatoes?

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    Considering that there hasn’t been any scientific proof of health problems with eating them, Zebra Chips do look kinda cool. Someone is just bound to turn this around and market them as a feature, not a bug.

  • enomoseki

    “Considering that there hasn’t been any scientific proof of health problems with eating them”


    It’s a byproduct from chemical crap. Who knows when the symptoms will appear.

  • palladin9479


    huh WTF? Talk about ignorant…

    “Zebra Chips” is not a byproduct from “chemical crap”, it’s the results of a toxin released from the parasite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactericera_cockerelli. It effects tomatoes and potatoes. Making chips from infected potatoes cause’s the strips to appear.

    What their not sure about is ~why~ the stripes appear in the first place and only after the potato is cooked.

    Can activists at least get the basic info right before trying to convert others to their crusades.

  • keith

    I’m with StevieBee on this one. The crap that passes for produce in most Korean markets is shocking. Good ingredients are actually quite hard to find here. It would be so nice to always be able to buy reliable produce from my local store as I’m all for supporting local businesses. Unfortunately my local store has lost most of my custom there due to the fact that half the stuff they sell is usually rotten. They’re cheeky buggers too, they always hide the rotten stuff or alternatively you have to dig through for ages to the bottom of the pile to find something edible.

    When I’m paying, the frankly, ridiculous prices for groceries that we have to in Korea I’d at least expect them to be fresh rather than covered in mold or off. Sorry local store, but Homeplus gets 95% of our grocery budget these days. Homeplus is cheaper and the produce is usually far better quality. Last time I was in the local supa all the guys selling fruit and veg were wandering around with ‘tennis racquet’ insect zapper things to kill all the bugs that were flying around the store.