Surprising Turn of Events
Potato growers received a pleasant surprise recently when the House passed a provision in their agriculture appropriations bill which prevents the USDA from moving forward with their plans to reduce the amount of potatoes school’s can use in their breakfast and lunch programs. The fact that the provision still needs to be passed by the Senate in no way lessens the excitement felt by the potato industry over this unexpected defending of the nutritionally sound potato. What appears to have helped the potato’s cause is the increased cost to school districts if the USDA’s proposal were to succeed; a whopping $6.8 billion over five years! Also, the health benefits of the potato have been brought to the forefront in the press lately by such actions as Washington Potato Commission Executive Director Chris Voigt’s two month “all potato diet”, where he managed to not only loose weight, but improve his over all health in the process; proof positive that the USDA’s decision to remove the potato from their federal programs and school cafeterias isn’t based on nutritional fact, but is more seemingly based on an attitude of bias.