The Wenatchee World

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One potato, hold the fungicide

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The plants we grow en masse to sustain humanity do not arise from some mystical “all natural” process. They are chosen, bred, altered and cultivated by human beings, for human beings, and mostly it works. But the plants of unnatural agriculture still have natural enemies. They kill our food, and often humans suffer.

One particularly vicious enemy is a microbe called Phytophthora infestans. Technically it is an oomycete, a sort of fungus or mildew that blows on the wind and…

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