The potato could soon fall victim to a new set of guidelines outlining what children should be eating at schools in the U.S.
In a couple of months, the school menu is due for an overhaul as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepares new rules designed to make school lunches healthier.
Based on a report from the Institute of Medicine, the USDA is considering new guidelines for school districts that would call for reducing the use of white potatoes, in favour of dishing out at least a half cup of leafy green vegetables, orange veggies and legumes each week.
"What we're looking at is the reputation of potatoes and that's what we're most concerned about," said Meredith Myers, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Potato Board. "The IOM report uses faulty logic. They assume they can encourage kids to eat more leafy greens and other vegetables by taking potatoes away. Potatoes are important to the diet. A medium-sized potato has no sodium, no cholesterol and is only 110 calories."
Potato farmers, as one would expect, are feeling a bit fried, and it looks like they're willing to strike back. Surprisingly, the looming food fight is not so much about money as it is about the reputation of the vegetable some call the spud.