Consumers, News May 2024, North America

Potatoes will remain classified as a vegetable, not a grain, senator says

Spuds won’t be considered a starch following protests from more than a dozen senators. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she received assurances Wednesday that potatoes will not be reclassified as a grain, a move she feared would give the impression that one of Maine’s key crops is unhealthy, as Rebecca Beitsch reports for The Hill.

Collins said she had received a call from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to relay the news following concerns about reclassification raised by both a group of bipartisan senators and the National Potato Council.

“The reclassification of potatoes would have sent a false message to the public that the USDA believes that potatoes are not healthy. The fact is, when prepared properly, the potato is a wonderfully nutritious food that is affordable, easy to transport, has a long storage life, and can be used in a wide array of recipes,” Collins said in a statement.

“I am pleased Secretary Vilsack called me personally to tell me that the USDA has no intention of reclassifying potatoes and recognizes that potatoes are, in fact, a vegetable.”

The concern over the specifications for the tubers comes as the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is preparing its report for the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop dietary guidelines.

Source: The Hill. Read the full story here
Image: Credit Robert F. Bukaty, Associated Press file
Related: Potatoes facing a ‘grainy’ future? Astonishing debate about the vegetable status of the potato challenges common sense

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