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Are Potatoes a Many-Eyed Threat to America’s Children?

Sure, it looks harmless ...

Sure, it looks harmless ...Photo: iStockphoto

It turns out ordinary potatoes may be a conduit for more than just embarrassing spelling errors: The USDA says the tubers are enough of a threat to America's youth that the organization is now trying to limit them in school cafeterias. (They're focusing on potatoes of the "fried" and "tot" variety.) Also on the list of dangerous substances are insidious "starchy" vegetables such as lima beans, corn, and peas, which, along with "white" potatoes could be limited in cafeterias to one cup per week. But the spuds industry is fighting back!

They insist that potatoes are "gateway" vegetables frequently combined with even healthier substances like broccoli and spinach!

We get that kids subsisting on French fries is not a healthy thing, but why should the USDA target the humble potato, which is itself reputed to be a good source of fiber and certain vitamins? Wouldn't it make more sense to put the kibosh on fried foods? And, while we're at it, it might also be a good opportunity to remind people that ketchup truly isn't a vegetable.

Spuds, on the Verge of Being Expelled, Start a Food Fight in the Cafeteria [WSJ]

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