Who could have thought that a humble spud (potato) would get caught up in a political wrangle?
I am inclined to want to say ‘only in America’ but in my deepest heart I know that is not the case. Where ever you have lobbyists you will have political wrangling! Where ever you have political wrangling it is always a case of follow the dollar. Who has paid the largest campaign donation maybe? Definitely who has huge political clout!
In a move that denies cognitive reasoning, President Obama’s USDA wanted to ban potatoes from school breakfasts and lunches, saying that they are starchy and make kids fat – while at the same time pushing fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Now if the government truly wanted to reduce the amount of starches in children’s school meals, surely they would be reducing the amount of starch right across the board, and that includes whole grains as well.
Do you really think the humble potato – boiled or dry baked is evil, or would French Fries and Hash Browns be the real baddies? This whole USDA proposal of course, brought the Potato Farmers out in force – feeling victimized and seeing a loss in profits looming largely on the horizon! And that is where politics took over from pseudo health!
Potato farmers from all over America have taken umbrage at this absurd recommendation. Potatoes in and of themselves are just fine as part of a diverse and healthy diet. It is the way in which they are cooked that makes the difference. Perhaps the USDA should have banned deep fat fryers from schools and not the humble spud!
So the National Potato Council decided to fight to save their produce from being victimized and their profits diminishing. IT WON!
The Senate stood up Tuesday for the humble white potato and rebuffed an effort by President Obama to limit its consumption by millions of schoolchildren around the country.
The administration has proposed limiting the amount of potatoes and other starchy vegetables that can be served in school lunches to one cup per student per week, and banning them from school breakfasts.
The Senate on Tuesday moved to block the proposal by adopting an amendment to the 2012 spending bill for the Agriculture Department. The amendment, approved by unanimous consent, prohibits the department from setting “any maximum limits on the serving of vegetables in school meal programs.”
Potatoes are back on the school meal menu for the time being, along with other starchy vegetables such as corn, peas and lima beans. One can only hope that now the USDA will take a much closer look at what these children are being served as ‘healthy food’ and consider facts which show that grains are not the healthy alternative some say they are, and fruit, fruit juices, and all foods containing fructose need to be eliminated as well.
As I said when beginning this blog today, I doubt the potato fight had much to do with health and far more to do with political wrangling and finance. That is so sad really because the lives of our children are far more important than a few extra million dollars in bank account, be they politicians banks account or those of potato farmers! The health of the nation depends on the health of its children. Feed them correctly and look forward to a strong future economy.
Some further reading:
Did you know that sugar – table sugar is actually two different sugar molecules? It is 50% glucose & 50% fructose. Your body uses glucose in all cellular functions; it has no need for an external source of fructose at all. Do some research and learn for yourself why we do not need this molecule, and just how the human body stores it. Maybe it will help you understand just why we are getting fatter and fatter. Years ago the government mistakenly told us to reduce the amount of good healthy fats in our diets, so manufacturers added in more sugar (fructose) to give us some flavors so we would keep purchasing their processed foods. Now we have a serious worldwide epidemic of obesity. Reducing good healthy fats did not stop us getting obese did it? Low fat this and that is pushed strongly by all medical and dietary organizations – still we got fatter.
Cut the sugar, cut the carbohydrates and starches, bring back the sweet delicious fat on the meat and eat less fruit. Vegetables are fine in season, as are salads etc. You never know, maybe one day the USDA will get it right, until they do – you will have to be your own super sleuth and family nutritionist.