You should know about Marion Nestle. She is a food scientist and scholar of eatin’. She kicks major ass in my opinion.
Her blog on food politics is quite good. Today she is taking up the subject of school lunches and the powerful potato lobby.
Please note: the proposal does not call for elimination of starchy vegetables. It calls for a limit of two servings a week (one cup is two servings).
What’s wrong with that? Plenty, according to the potato industry, which stands to sell fewer products to the government and could not care less about spreading the wealth around to other vegetable producersPotato lobbyists went to work (apparently the sweet corn, lima bean, and pea industries do not have the money to pay for high-priced lobbying talent). The Potato Council held a press conference hosted by Senators from potato-growing states.
The result? The U.S. Senate added an amendment to the 2012 agriculture spending bill blocking the USDA from “setting any maximum limits on the serving of vegetables in school meal programs.”
Mind you, I like potatoes. They are thoroughly delicious when cooked well, have supported entire civilizations, and certainly can contribute to healthful diets. Two servings a week seems quite reasonable. So does encouraging consumption of other vegetables as well.
Not only is Nestle on point with this subject, but her remark about the potato lobby is correct. Remember the scene in Life and Debt where the struggling potato growers of Jamaica get a meeting with the U.S. potato lobby hoping to sell some potatoes. Instead the potato politicians are coming to sell Jamaicans subsidized potatoes.