Equality nears for US potatoes

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Tom Joyce

BY TOM JOYCE

@tomfruitnet

Equality nears for US potatoes

In the US, potatoes are closer to gaining equality with other vegetables as Congress prepares to approve their inclusion in national nutrition programme

Equality nears for US potatoes

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As part of a major spending bill expected to be approved by the US Congress, potatoes should soon be included in the Women, Infants and Children nutrition programme that allows low-income women to pay for certain foods using government-subsidised vouchers.

Potatoes had previously been excluded due to their use in making chips or French fries, which are usually fried in unhealthy oils.

The potato industry, however, has successfully lobbied for their inclusion, arguing that it's not so much about sales as a perception that potatoes are less nutritious than other vegetables.

A review by the Institute of Medicine, which advises the government on health matters, is reportedly ongoing.

Potatoes won a major legislative victory back in 2011, when Congress voted to thwart the USDA's attempt to limit servings of potatoes in federally subsidised school lunches to just two a week.

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