Senate Digs In Over Potatoes in School Lunches
Thwarts Obama's attempts to limit them for childrens' health
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 19, 2011 1:24 PM CDT
In this Sept. 30, 2010 photo, school cook Mavis McDowell, left, serves up tater tots to second-grader Madison Nunley at Naches Valley Primary School in Gleed, Wash.   (AP Photo/Shannon Dininny)

(Newser) – The Senate yesterday subtly thwarted an Obama administration proposal to limit the amount of potatoes and other starchy vegetables school children scarf down, inserting an amendment into an Agriculture Department spending bill prohibiting the Department from setting “any maximum limits on the serving of vegetables in school meal programs." The amendment passed by unanimous consent, the New York Times reports. The administration had wanted to limit “starchy vegetables” to one cup per student per week.

The proposal was intended to fight childhood obesity. But Susan Collins and Mark Udall, both from potato-populous states, came together for a bipartisan defense of the humble spud. “The proposed rule would prevent schools from serving an ear of fresh corn one day and a baked potato another day the same week, an utterly absurd result,” said Collins. Indeed, the Agriculture Department’s definition of “starchy vegetables” includes not just potatoes, but corn, green peas, and lima beans.

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
YetAnotherCollegeKid
Oct 21, 2011 8:37 PM CDT
To be fair, actual baked potatoes are incredibly nutritious, enough so to live off pretty much indefinitely. Now, that is totally academic as no public school serves baked potatoes. This is such bullshit.
JackNelsonSteward
Oct 20, 2011 6:53 AM CDT
When was the last time you saw "an ear of fresh corn" in a school cafeteria? What is the "form" of "potatoes" you WILL see most frequently in school cafeterias? "Tots" ... basically fried potatoes ... so you get starch AND fat ... and feed it to a kid whose phys ed program was eliminated by cuts in school funding and whose parents are working two jobs each to keep the house, so s/he sits and twiddles his/her thumbs all day on the viddy diddly ... and there you have it.
Rachel122
Oct 19, 2011 8:20 PM CDT
There is NOTHING wrong with potatoes, they are the only good part in my lunch. Don't let politics into the food I like to eat. I would say that they fact that my school sells a lot of incredibly unhealthy food to kids and teacher in order to pay for other kids school lunches is the problem.