SOS: Do Not Allow USDA To Pick on Maine’s Potatoes in the USDA School Lunch Program.
McLean, VA. . . September 14, 2011…In a letter to Maine’s two Senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, prominent South Portland registered , Ms. Kitty Broihier, MS, RD., said, “I would like to thank you for taking a tough stand on a school nutrition issue that’s particularly important to our state—the amount of potatoes and other starchy vegetables that can be offered through the school lunch program.
Broihier wrote, “First, there is no question that potatoes have an important role in a well-balanced diet. Potatoes are packed with potassium and dietary fiber—two nutrients that are chronically under-consumed by both children and adults in this country, according to the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines.
“Second, according to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, French fried potatoes comprise just 1.5% of the total daily calories in the diets of all Americans, 2 years of age or older.
“Pinning the complex issue of childhood obesity on one food is an incredible oversimplification, though not unheard of, unfortunately. Which food will be discriminated against next? It seems to me that encouraging the consumption of a wide variety of wholesome foods—including potatoes and other starchy vegetables—is a more reasonable approach, and one that both students and schools can live with.