Today a quiet third grader named Elise took the Internet and food world by storm with her no-frills science experiment video. While the video is almost three years old, it just went viral, and brings to the forefront of our thoughts relevant issues of organic vs. non-organic. In the video, Elise attempts to grow three types of sweet potato roots in jars – non-organic, conventional organic, and local organic.
Her experiment proves that thanks to a chemical known as “Bud Nip” (chlorpropham), the non-organic potato did not sprout. The conventionally grown organic sweet potato sprouted only a small bit, thanks to exposure via groundwater and soil to Bud Nip. Yet the local organic potato bought at a farmer’s market sprouted beautifully. (You can watch the video at the bottom of this post!)
We could talk about how adorable she is, with her quiet articulation and carefully rehearsed script. (Let’s hope she got that “A” she deserves!)”
We could argue about the moral, economical, and personal agendas of eating organic.
Or we could talk about how to develop the potato science experiment itself. (You can find those steps on eHow.)
But what I find most fascinating and poignant is how a wisp of a girl is quietly settling the score on the decades-long argument of organic versus non-organic produce — there are already over 1,700 comments on the YouTube video alone. A debate that has been long argued over dinner tables and Senate desks, in documentaries and clean eating reforms, is now addressed with such straight-forward and tangible facts that the outcome cannot be ignored.
Forks Over Knives? More like Elise over the Internet.
She proves that arguments can be settled unassumingly with facts: through rational, dedicated work, and clear presentation.
And most of all, she proves that no matter how small you are, no matter how tiny your initial reach may be, you can make a difference to strangers everywhere. The Internet gives a platform and a voice to all of us “regular” people — and I am thankful to everyone with a voice.
If you will now excuse me, I’m off to our farmer’s market to buy organic vegetables for my family, all thanks to a third grader.