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David Sparks Ph.d WIC and Potatoes
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: November 23, 2016

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A long time ago I was questioning along with Pres. of the Idaho Potato Commission, Frank Muir, why the Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC excluded potatoes. Dr. Helen Jensen of Iowa State University Served as part of the decision-making team for WIC and talked with me. “You raise a very challenging and interesting aspect of some revisions were made. The way that the dietary guidelines were developed and food groups, they ranked starchy vegetables and potatoes were of concern because they were the most widely consumed of those vegetables and often eaten in forms that were of concern. People were not buying potatoes as they could with a fresh fruit and vegetable voucher, they were buying them in a processed form that was not going to be eligible anyway. So potatoes were not allowed mainly because they were widely consumed and the point of introducing a voucher in the 2009 regulation was to increase the variety of fruits and vegetables. The Institute of Medicine was asked to look again. The committee looked at the dietary guidelines and the guidelines changed. Change allowed more starchy vegetables so potatoes fit in with the ranges that were appropriate for selecting more potatoes along with corn and things like that.”

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