March 20, 2011

Jonathan Riskind: Potato's place on the plate defended

(Continued from page 1)

She held up a bag of Maine white potatoes in one hand and a head of iceberg lettuce in the other to make the point that a single medium white potato has more than twice the amount of vitamin C as an entire head of lettuce and far more potassium, too. And barring frying those potatoes, they can be served in "countless healthy ways," Collins said.

"It should be included in both the WIC program and the school meals programs, and it should be done so in a manner that promotes their healthy cooking," Collins said.

Collins said in an interview last week that she was encouraged by Vilsack's response on the school lunch/breakfast front. The secretary is going to meet with the National Potato Council, she said, and potato advocates will try to persuade him that rather than severely limiting potatoes, the school meal programs should encourage them to be served in non-fried ways.

Collins continued her campaign last week, telling Vilsack in a letter sent Wednesday that "This proposed rule would not only drive up school meal costs, forcing schools to revise their menus and purchase more expensive vegetables, but it is based on, and thus perpetuates, the myth that potatoes are unhealthy."

Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Riskind can be contacted at 791-6280 or at:

jriskind@mainetoday.com

 

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