According to current numbers, Americans eat (or attempt to eat) 112 pounds of potatoes per capita last year. But lately, according to NPR today, “the potato industry has been playing the part of jilted lover and taking its heartache to Congress.
“The National Potato Council is saying the U.S. Department of Agriculture “discriminates” against fresh, white potatoes. Huh?
“Back in 2007, the USDA ruled that women and children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, couldn’t buy potatoes with the program’s vouchers. Instead, the nearly 9 million WIC participants, who have to be poor and at risk of under- or malnutrition to enroll in the program, are given a monthly benefit ($10 for women and $6 for children) to buy any fruit or vegetable except white potatoes.
“This month, industry groups persuaded some members of the House Appropriations Committee to introduce an amendment to change that — by permitting states the option to include potatoes in their WIC programs. The potato lobby is also hoping to change the final WIC rule on what foods are eligible for the WIC benefit. USDA is taking comments on it until June 29. Continue reading “Women, children, and potatoes”