Why We Need a Food Police
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to eliminate the white potato—defined as any variety but the sweet potato—from federally subsidized school breakfasts and to limit them sharply at lunch. Under the USDA proposal, school cafeterias would have to limit starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas and lima beans to a total of one cup per week for lunch.
People are overwhelming against the proposal, which also includes peas and lima beans. But what kind of kid eats peas and lima beans? So, let's just focus on the potatoes.
Sure, potatoes contain all sorts of nutritious vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, vitamin C, fiber, B vitamins, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate, B6, and fiber. But all that goes out the window when the potato is fried, flavored, or doused in butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits. It's kind of like putting all that dressing on a salad. Sure, the lettuce and carrots are healthy. But, the fat and calories of the dressing negate the benefits. Same goes with the potatoes.
And since when have potatoes been a "gateway vegetable" that lead kids to eat broccoli and spinach? It's just as slippery as any slippery slope argument, where letting one thing happen will lead to another and then another. There's no evidence that folks who eat potatoes begin to feel comfortable and ready to eat broccoli, carrots, and other veggies. Just the same way the gateway drug idea is a sham. It's not as if all the smokers and drinkers out there begin shoot up heroin and snort cocaine later on in life. Also keep in mind that this "gateway vegetable" argument is coming from those who sell the potatoes. Their vested interest in this whole issue is to sell potatoes, not the overall status of your kid's health.Continued on the next page