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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:44 PM

Question about beets.

I noticed that there was some white fungus-looking stuff on the beets I just got in my produce package.

It was confined to the tops where the leaves come out, but was definitely on the root part.

I just cut off the tops in preparation for cooking them, and half of them had brown areas in the center. Some of this had gone halfway down the root.

I cut these parts out, but am disappointed.

Anyone know what this is? I looked on the internet but couldn't find it.

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Reply Question about beets. (Original post)
cbayer Feb 2013 OP
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #1
cbayer Feb 2013 #2
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #3
cbayer Feb 2013 #4
pinto Feb 2013 #5
cbayer Feb 2013 #6

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:47 PM

1. Sounds like powdery mildew

Which is a fungus. It's normally found on the back side of the leaves first, but can migrate to the front side of the leaves and the stalks. If unchecked it can start to affect the roots and beats themselves which can account for the brown areas.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:50 PM

2. So, was I right to dig out and discard the brown parts inside the beet?

Are the parts I saved going to be ok to eat?

They are roasting right now and smell delicious.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:55 PM

3. That's what I would probably do

Unless I felt like going back to the market and exchanging them. I hate to waste food, so I cut the bad parts out and use produce like that fairly often. It's unlikely that anything pathogenic to humans is going to infect beats and even if it did you almost certainly wouldn't be able to detect it anyway.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:05 PM

4. Thanks so much.

I order my produce and get a once weekly shipment, so there is no taking it back. But I will complain and probably get something extra from them next time.

Anyway, going to make borscht, so if you don't hear from me again, it was the beets!

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:30 AM

5. Common beet fungus, sometimes infects potatoes. Harmless. Cutting it out was cool.

The rest of the root was fine, no? I'd mention it to the supplier / grower, though. Beets shouldn't be grown in the same rows season after season. Rotation of plots limits fungal spread. But it's a common problem, especially this time of year.

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Response to pinto (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:16 PM

6. We shall see, as I will finish off the soup today.

Unfortunately there won't be as much of it as I had hoped, but c'est la vie.

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