Q & A regarding Mike’s Mix Tapioca Maltodextrin and Tapioca Dextrose.
“I see that this product is not listed as organic, but the description says it has no pesticide residue… How does that work?”
Tapioca is typically produced with little to no pesticides as doing so is usually ineffective and hardly ever economic. A range of non-chemical measures help farmers reduce losses while protecting the agro-ecosystem.
- Mealybugs feed on Tapioca and inject a toxin that causes leaf withering. Mealybug are brought under control with the introduction of a natural enemy, the Anagyrus lopezi, a tiny wasp that lays its eggs in the pest (the growing larvae kill their host). A serious outbreak of mealybug in Thailand in 2009 was overcome rapidly by the release of 3 million pairs of A. lopezi across the infested area.
- Mites are another pest found in Tapioca producing regions. The introduction of green mites devastated Tapioca production in the early 1970’s. It was brought under control by a predatory mite, which reduced substantially the damage caused by the green mites.
The organic certification of a product is not indicative of pesticide use. This is a common misconception as a lot of people believe organic means no chemicals. Organically certified vegetables can be grown using pesticides and other chemicals, however, they must come from an approved list and be applied according to certain standards. On the flip side, as is the case with our Tapioca, products that do not have an organic certification may not use pesticides.