North America

Potatoes as a ‘grain’? Tasty tubers again the target of reclassification topic in the U.S.

There is a push by some groups in the U.S. to reclassify the potato as a ‘grain’ – a notion that some producers find ‘starch raving mad’, as Andrew Weeks, editor of Prairie Business magazine, reports in an article published by AgWeek.

The potato – one of the country’s most in-demand commodities – is known by several nicknames: murphy, spud, tater and tuber among them, he writes. And whether baked, boiled, fried, hashed, mashed, roasted or scalloped, the potato, produced in different colors and formations, is simply known as a vegetable.

Donavon Johnson, president of Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, wants to keep it that way. There is a push by some groups, however, to reclassify the potato as a grain – a notion that some producers find starch raving mad.

Johnson said that according to both consumer sentiment and purchases, potatoes are the No. 1 vegetable sold and consumed in the U.S. The push by some to reclassify the spud has been ongoing for years, but the topic remains a hot potato in the industry, especially as a new farm bill is being constructed, according to Kam Quarles, executive director of the National Potato Council in Washington, D.C.

Not surprisingly, the push to reclassify is mostly for monetary reasons, Andrew Weeks reports.

Source: AgWeek. Read the full story here
Photo: Rocio Serraco, left, and Lorenzo Jaime remove dirt clods from a conveyor as potatoes are elevated into a warehouse at Ryan Potato Company in East Grand Forks. Herald photo by Eric Hylden via AgWeek

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