WASHINGTON, D.C.-The House Appropriations Committee last week passed the fiscal year 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpsons is a member of the committee and once again offered an amendment to allow states to include fresh potatoes in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program, administered by the USDA. Simpson's amendment passed by a voice vote.
Potatoes are currently excluded from the WIC program despite being nutrient dense, affordable, low in calories, and free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. A medium-sized potato contains more potassium than a banana and is a good source of dietary fiber-both of which are "nutrients of concern," meaning those nutrients most lacking in Americans' diets, according to USDA's current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The bill was approved by the full committee on a voice vote and now awaits consideration by the Full House.