Friday December 07, 2012 | 03:46 PM

WASHINGTON – As a native of Maine’s potato-growing region, Sen. Susan Collins is not shy when it comes to promoting or defending the humble spud.

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture attempted last year to limit potatoes use in public school lunches, Collins and fellow Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe successfully fought to keep them on the cafeteria menu. And recently, she was photographed at the White House presenting an Obama administration official with a special bag of Aroostook-grown potatoes.

So her name was notably absent from a letter signed by Maine's other three members of Congress urging the owners of the growing burger chain Five Guys to use Maine potatoes for the fries they sell in the state.

Did Collins have something against Five Guys, a chain that started in the DC area and has exploded in popularity in part because of their fresh-cut, oversized fries? Or was she kept out of the loop by her Maine colleagues?

Turns out, the answer is "no" to both.

Collins was asked to sign onto the letter (which began in the office of Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-District 2). But a staffer mistakenly neglected to get Collins' John Hancock in time and, several days later, the letter went out without it.

But Collins fully supports Five Guys buying Maine potatoes for their Portland and soon-to-be-opened Bangor location. In fact, she penned her own letter to the franchisees saying so.

“As a native of Aroostook County Maine, I can attest that Maine potatoes are of the highest quality and the best tasting in the United States,” Collins wrote. “As Five Guys expands in Maine, it has the opportunity to purchase this excellent, locally grown product. Purchasing local products can result in fresher food and limit transportation costs while supporting Maine farms and communities.”

A spokeswoman for Five Guys told the Portland Press Herald that the company plans to test some Maine potatoes later this year.

 

 

About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@mainetoday.com

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

More

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.