Mar 26, 2024
Calling all potato Picassos: Try painting spuds, not eggs, this Easter

Soaring egg prices in 2023 prompted a new trend: Easter potatoes. Painting potatoes can be cheaper, more sustainable and a fun twist on a traditional classic.

Potatoes USA offers a guide for those interested in replacing Easter eggs with potatoes again this year. The organization noted that the affordable pantry staple lasts a long time, making spuds an ideal artistic canvas. Or, if painted with food-safe materials and washed, potatoes can be eaten post-hunt.

And potatoes not found are biodegradable — but be careful if you have dogs. Raw potatoes contain solanine, which is potentially toxic to pups.

According to Potatoes USA, potatoes are a sustainable Easter choice. Spuds last a long time or can be eaten post-hunt if painted with food-safe materials and washed.

“Easter potatoes are an awesome spring activity, and if you use food coloring, you can even eat the potatoes when you’re finished decorating,” Marisa Stein, director of marketing at Potatoes USA, said in a news release. “Plus, a medium-sized, skin-on potato has 620 grams of potassium — which is more than a medium-sized banana — nearly one-third of the vitamin C we need each day and 3 grams of plant-based protein.”

There are even ethical considerations at play in painting potatoes. On March 11, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to Jill Biden, asking the first lady to replace eggs with potatoes in the White House’s annal Easter Egg Roll, set for Easter Monday, April 1. PETA said replacing eggs would appease those concerned about conditions on poultry farms or those who avoid high-cholesterol eggs for health reasons.

If being a potato Picasso is an appealing idea, Potatoes USA has a few tips:

  • Cover workspaces with newspapers or plastic tablecloths for easy cleanup.
  • Use gloves to keep hands free from food dye or paint.
  • If using food coloring, painting directly onto the potato will result in the most vibrant color.
  • Use a coat of hairspray to seal the color on purely decorative potatoes
  • If using paint, a white primer coat will make colors pop.
  • Acrylic of tempera paints will show up better on potatoes than watercolors.
  • Use non-toxic, washable paints.


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