Clear-cutting forests for intensive potato production: the story continues

Kudos to DNR for halting R. D. Offutt from continuing to clear-cut forests in northwestern Minnesota and convert the lands to chemically intensive potato production. DNR will prepare a discretionary environmental assessment worksheet because of the threat to drinking water, surface water, fish and wildlife. R. D. Offutt, a North Dakota company, is America’s largest potato producer and French fry supplier to McDonalds.

DNR’s action closely follows Josephine Marcotty’s investigative report about the threat to the largely pristine but vulnerable Pineland Sands Aquifer from chemically intensive potato production.

Offutt supplies French fries to McDonalds, a company that advertises its “good sourcing” and sustainability. In September, McDonalds committed to halt and reverse the loss of forests around the globe when it signed the New York Declaration on Forests during the United Nations Climate Summit in Manhattan. McDonalds is well aware that its supplier Offutt is clear cutting forests in Minnesota.

On another note, Bluestem Prairie, a favorite go-to source, follows the Offutt money. Bluestem documents the $50,000 that R. D. Offutt gave to the Mn Jobs Coalition, “a state level PAC whose independent expenditures played a key role in flipping the Minnesota House of Representatives from DFL to Republican control.”