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Published April 18, 2011, 04:30 AM

Keep potatoes in schools

WASHINGTON — The time has come to stand up for potatoes, and every one of us needs to do it.

WASHINGTON — The time has come to stand up for potatoes, and every one of us needs to do it.

We all think the health of our nation’s children is a top priority. Meals served to children in schools are a core component to the nutrition available in the United States. However, USDA has recommended the reduction of certain vegetables, includ-

ing potatoes, in schools. The proposed rule on Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs would limit the weekly servings of potatoes, corn, peas and lima beans to a single cup in school lunches and would eliminate all these vegetables in school breakfasts.

Bad choice

Taking potatoes out of schools is wrong for kids. The USDA proposal is based on outdated data about the potato products served in schools and is inconsistent with the recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

If the current proposed guidelines are implemented, they could have serious, unintended nutritional consequences that would reduce rather than increase vegetable consumption.

The potato industry needs to unite and take action today.

- Submit your own comments to USDA.

- Discuss this important issue with your local school districts, school foodservice directors, PTA or parents organization.

- Contact your local media with this information.

- Tell your doctors, nutritionists and anyone one who might be concerned about the health of today’s school children.

The more voices USDA hears in support of keeping potatoes in schools, the more likely the agency will listen.

Information: Visit