One Potato, Two Potato

An attempt by the U.S. Agriculture Department to limit the amount of starchy vegetables public schools could serve at lunch was thwarted by the U.S. Senate, after some aggressive lobbying from potato farmers, Time reported.


"Agriculture Department rules proposed earlier this year aimed to reduce the amount of French fries in schools, limited lunchrooms to two servings a week of potatoes and other starchy vegetables," Time said. "That angered the potato industry, some school districts and members of Congress from potato-growing states, who say the USDA should focus on the preparation instead and that potatoes can be a good source of fiber and potassium."


Proponents of the two-serving per week plan said they wanted to encourage students to consume different kinds of vegetables. The limitations were proposed following a federally funded Harvard University analysis of data from the past 20 years, which showed potatoes to be unexpectedly fattening.


In fact, for every additional serving of potatoes people added to their regular diet each day, they gained about a pound over four years. Even mashed, baked or boiled potatoes were caused people to pack on the pounds, perhaps because of their effect on the hormone insulin.


What do you think? Should starches be limited to small servings?