The Potato Council fired back at Michelle Obama today over her op-ed in the New York Times that says people eat enough potatoes and that WIC should not cover the tasty tubers. Mrs. Obama claimed to have science on her side, but it appears the science she is relying on is a bit outdated.
“Opponents of adding fresh potatoes to the WIC package are picking and choosing the science. Instead of relying on a 2005 report that looks at data from the mid-1990s, we argue that important federal nutrition programs should be based on the latest available science – in this case, USDA’s own 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
“We appreciate the House and Senate members and staff who reviewed the science and the history of the WIC fruit and vegetable voucher program, and support a path forward that will allow WIC participants access to fresh potatoes.”
“Based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the most recent CDC consumption data, all Americans, including WIC participants, are under consuming nutritionally rich potatoes.”
“Since potatoes are a recognized source of potassium, fiber, and folate – nutrients that are deficient in many WIC participants’ diets – adding them to this important federal nutrition program is grounded in science. We are confident that allowing participants to purchase any fresh fruit or vegetable in the produce aisle reinforces WIC program’s mission to provide both nutrition and nutrition education for low-income women, infants, and children who are found to be at risk. In addition, adding inexpensive, nutrient-dense potatoes to the basket will help WIC mothers stretch their WIC dollars and reduce confusion at checkout.”
Read the whole thing. Sugar cane is allowed under the WIC guidelines but not fresh potatoes. How does that make any sense?