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Potato cutback causes school fight with USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to eliminate the "white potato"—defined as any variety but the sweet potato—from federally subsidized school breakfasts and to limit them sharply at lunch.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Around here, you can find "Maine Potato Candy"—mashed potatoes rolled in coconut and dipped in chocolate—and potato donuts. A popular county fair offers wrestling matches in a vat of potatoes. In a state where spuds are the top agricultural product, locals can't get enough of them, even at schools.

But now the federal government wants to all but toss tubers out of school.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to eliminate the "white potato"—defined as any variety but the sweet potato—from federally subsidized school breakfasts and to limit them sharply at lunch.

At a March Senate hearing on the USDA budget, Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) hoisted a standard-fare brown-skinned spud in one hand and, in the other, a head of iceberg lettuce, which hasn't come under explicit federal scrutiny. One medium white potato contains nearly twice the vitamin C "as this entire head," she said, asking: "So my question, Mr. Secretary, is what does the department have against potatoes?"

For more, see: Spuds, on the Verge of Being Expelled, Start a Food Fight in the Cafeteria

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