I was just reading in "The Botany of Desire" by Michael Pollan how organic farmers use ladybugs for pest control. I knew this before but seeing this sweet girl in the garden made me think again about what I learned in his book...
The farmer he interviewed (along with two GMO farmers) used crop rotation, diversity in the species of his potatoes, & lady bugs to keep his plants healthy - his yields were just as high as one of the GMO farmers & only slightly less then the other GMO farmer. He could also get more money for his potatoes as they are organic. While there was more work, it was less automated than the GMO farmers, it was better for the land, his employees, the water supply near the farm and of course - the potatoes:)
Potatoes happen to be one of the worst sprayed foods that I've ever read about. Fungicides, pesticides, herbicides; all in a by-weekly rotation all season long...ALL in the name of perfect McDonald's French fries.
McDonalds is the largest buyer of spuds in the world. And along with the worlds demand for perfect fries, McDonalds desire to make them perfect & the identical each time and at each location - feeds the need for monoculture/GMO potatoes.
When different varieties are grown (there over a thousand!), this diversity helps plants "one-up" pests & fungi making it harder for them to get a foothold. This also helps preserve the strength of the species for future generations of farmers and gardners.
Viva la variety baby!