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Science Experiment Goes Viral

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Who knew a potato had so much power.

We were amazed when 50 people watched it, 11-year-old Elise Glascock says.

The video Elise is referring to is a simple experiment she did when she was eight, looking at the benefits of buying organic.

In the experiment, she put sweet potatoes in a glass and watched to see if they would grow vines. The experiment shows an organic sweet potato sprouting large vines, while a commercially grown potato didn't.

The family put the video on YouTube back in 2011, and what started out as a few views has ballooned to a million and a half, with nearly a million views coming in the last couple months.

I think it's just taken on a life of its own, her mother Suzanne Bartlett says.

Much of the reason it's gone viral - not only on YouTube, but on various blogs - Elise's explanation of Bud Nip.

A study done by Cornell University shows the chemical, also known as Chlorpropham, is sometimes sprayed on commercially grown potatoes to prevent sprouting.

The University also did laboratory tests on mice that show it can cause tumors and high fever. Currently, there's no proof that humans are at risk.

Co-op stores like New Pioneer say concern with chemicals is what drives people to them.

Knowing your farmer is the new trend, growing your garden is the hot thing to do right now, says Jenifer Angerer with New Pioneer Co Op. 

Angerer says Elise's experiment shows why some people are buying local.

Every time we see a food scare, we see a spike in sales, Angerer says.

Elise says her experiment shows one simple conclusion

If it doesn't let the potato grow vines, it's probably not good for your body.

Even with 1.5 million views and counting, there is one view shes hoping for.

I hope the president will see my videothat would be fun, Elise says.  

To watch Elises video, visit
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