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Senate Says Yes To Spuds In School Lunch

In a blow to combating obesity, the Senate decided all vegetables on school lunches were safe, including potatoes (fried and otherwise).

tater tots

Photo: Michael Liu (flickr)

Who knew golden fried spuds would be at the center of such heated debates?

The Senate voted to keep vegetables in school lunches without limits Tuesday.

Wait, parents: before you breathe a collective sigh of relief, understand what “veggies” means in different schools.

The Obama administration set out to limit potatoes and starchy vegetables to two servings a week — in other words, french fries and tater tots are a “sometimes” item.

Although the legislation was an effort to fight obesity, it wasn’t met with smiles.

Some argued limiting starchy vegetables would mean limits on corn and peas as well as potatoes, while others were offended that potatoes got a bad rap.

“Potatoes have more potassium than bananas. They are cholesterol-free and low in fat and sodium and can be served in countless healthy ways,” Senator Susan Collins says.

Even Stephen Colbert joined in the chorus of spud-loving former children, crying tater tots were akin to “kid Xanax.”

Are you cheering the victory for potatoes? Or are you thinking it’s time to pack lunch?

Read More:

  • School Lunch Potato Fight Gets The Colbert Treatment (NPR)
  • Senate Saves the Potato on School Lunch Menus (New York Times)
  • Protecting the Potato (Slate)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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  • Brian

    As usual, the Senate got it wrong. The limit on potatoes was intended to decrease carbohydrate intake and perhaps some cholesterol as well if the potatoes are served fried. The body stores excess carbohydrates as fat. The carbohydrate content of one cup of peas has only 6.8 g, corn 27.8, and potatoes about 35 (depending upon how it’s prepared; can be much higher). All foods have some nutrition in them, so Senator Collins’ remark is somewhat bizarre. And although corn has a relatively high carbohydrate content, peas are very low, so that’s another unintelligent argument.

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