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French fries.
Nutrition assistance benefits for low-income pregnant women and nursing mothers can only be spent on certain, particularly nutritious foods. But the House is stepping in to urge that one specific food be added to that list over the protests of scientists: white potatoes. Potatoes have real political muscle behind them:
Although the Obama administration has tried on a few occasions to limit the amount of money the government spends on feeding people white potatoes, lawmakers from the roughly 40 potato-growing states, backed by the potato lobby, have worked to turn back those efforts. They voted to thwart the Agriculture Department's 2011 recommendation that french fries only be served twice a week in federally subsidized school lunches.
Now, the House included a measure in its budget bill calling for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to put white potatoes on the approved list for WIC or explain why. According to a potato spokesman, it's not that the National Potato Council wants to sell more potatoes to WIC recipients, it's just battling "the perception that potatoes are not as nutritionally valuable as other vegetables and fruits." Which is a case you could possibly make, if most potatoes were consumed baked or boiled with little added fat, instead of as french fries. Here's the best part, though:
In 2012, more than 70 Republican and Democratic members of the House wrote Vilsack to promote the nutrition benefits of potatoes and protest their omission in WIC, saying it sends the wrong message to low-income mothers and "suggests a 'government knows best' mentality inconsistent with individual choice and promotion of self-responsibility."
They're not wrong! But WIC is basically a paternalistic program top to bottom. The details of approved foods lists very from state to state, but in red Alabama and blue New York alike, WIC can be used for 100 percent fruit juice but not lemonade, specific kinds of cheese not including shredded cheese or mixed cheeses, Cheerios but not Honey Nut Cheerios, large but not extra large eggs, brown rice but not white rice, and so on. If lawmakers are only discovering their outrage over this program being "inconsistent with individual choice and promotion of self-responsibility" when it comes to a product grown in their states and widely turned into junk food, with all the promotional muscle that implies, that outrage looks ... less than purely liberty-focused, let's say. Almost like they're more concerned for potato growers than either individual choice or the nutrition of WIC recipients.

How totally out of character for Congress, right?

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:08 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nutrition for the poor is about... (9+ / 0-)

    giving em just enough food to work, but not enough to notice how badly they're being screwed.

    Hell, why not start subsidizing Vodka for the poor?  Serves the same benefit to the potato farmer, but lets the poor escape from their drudgery for a few hours.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:23:44 AM PST

  •  So put uncooked potatoes on the list. (5+ / 0-)

    And leave the McDonald's french fries off of it.

    "People eat too many french fries, therefore we won't let people buy potatoes with WIC" is a rather odd argument.

    Also, why the emphasis on "white potatoes"? Are Russets, reds, and other varieties allowed and the whites not? Or are they asking for an exemption for white potatoes and leaving the other ones out?

    I don't see the outrage on this one.

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

    by Hayate Yagami on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:25:56 AM PST

    •  Outrage? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Donkey Hotey, Dodgerdog1

      I didn't detect any outrage. Does something need to be outrageous for one to post? I'm outraged that grains and potatoes are promoted as healthy and at the bottom of the food pyramid because of lobbying by corporate agriculture. Is that better?

      •  The implication of the diary is that it's (0+ / 0-)

        somehow a bad thing that white (again, why no mention of other types?) potatoes might be put on the WIC approved list.

        I don't see why. Yes, french fries and potato chips are unhealthy, but deep frying tends to do that to food, no matter how good they might be to begin with.

        As for your apparent personal vendetta against historical staple foods (bread, potatoes, rice, etc, have been staples for far longer than modern Big Business has been around), I have no idea why you're so up in arms about them.

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:51:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Personal vendetta"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dodgerdog1

          I don't see where you get that from what's been posted. I think maybe it would be good to calm down. Are you a potato farmer? Or a member of the potato board? That's the only reason I can think of why you would filter this as a "vendetta."

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:11:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Straight to ad hom attacks? (0+ / 0-)

            Not to mention a pretty stupid one, at that. "Are you a potato farmer"?

            I'm outraged that grains and potatoes are promoted as healthy and at the bottom of the food pyramid
            Grains (rice, wheat, etc) and potatoes have been staple foods around the world for literally thousands of years. There is no rational reason for "outrage" over recognizing that, and no reason to be on a crusade against them. (See his other comment)
            Potatoes are not healthy. Grains should be very limited in the diet and should not be at the bottom of any food pyramid

            "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

            by Hayate Yagami on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:24:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's been repeatly shown (0+ / 0-)

              that foods heavy in simple carbohydrates (i.e., any grains or starches) wreak havoc on blood sugar, which causes inflammation and is a precursor to diabetes, arterial disease and cancer.  I'm pre-diabetic and avoid all simple carbohydrate-laden foods like wheat, rice, corn or potatoes like the plague.  I would suggest anyone who cares about their health or the health of their family do the same.

            •  "Grains (rice, wheat, etc) and potatoes (0+ / 0-)

              have been staple foods around the world for literally thousands of years. There is no rational reason for "outrage" over recognizing that, and no reason to be on a crusade against them."

              Other than what passes for "grains" these days, in the US at least, is nothing like what was traditionally grown in most societies.  Take corn, for instance.  The corn grown by Native Americans was much higher in protein and much lower in sugar than what is currently grown in the US.  And did you  know that a cup of white rice has a higher glycemic impact (i.e., after consumption, it pushes blood sugar up higher and faster) than a cup of white sugar?  And the type of potatoes most often used for French Fries (Russets) have much more starch in them than other varieties of potatoes.

              So, modern grains have a seriously negative impact (obesity, diabetes), especially in modern societies where the vast majority of people do not spend most of their time engaged in heavy physical labor, which the opposite of traditional societies.

            •  The grains and potatoes we eat today (0+ / 0-)

              ...bear little resemblance to the grains and potatoes we ate for literally thousands of years.

        •  The poor would be so much better fed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Futuristic Dreamer

          If only we could get rid of farmers.  Getting a bit fed up with the anti-agriculture diaries myself.

      •  Double thumbs up (3+ / 0-)

        So much of the food pyramid is based on lobbying and not on real nutritional information.

    •  That's white (inside the skin) potatoes instead (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crider, FloridaSNMOM, Dodgerdog1, badger

      of sweet potatoes which are a healthy alternative to potatoes which are white on the inside. Russets are white potatoes as are red skinned potatoes.

      7. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain.

      8. Their rich orange colour indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging. Studies at Harvard University of more than 124,000 people showed a 32 percent reduction in risk of lung cancer in people who consumed a variety of carotenoid-rich foods as part of their regular diet. Another study of women who had completed treatment for early stage breast cancer conducted by researchers at Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) found that women with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence.

      from:http://www.care2.com/...

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:46:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The big (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady

        problem with sweet potatoes is that they aren't as easily grown all around the country, unlike the more common white or red, or even russet, potato we all know and love.  Incidentally, very few people bother making french fries or potato chips at home simply because of the time and labor involved in making them.  It is far easier to simply peel and chunk, then toss the chunks in a pot with some water and salt and boil for about a half hour, with total time from sit down to peel to table ready being under an hour, unless you are cooking for twenty or thirty people.

    •  I think "white potatoes" are to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, Alice in Florida

      distinguish them from sweet potatoes, which might be in a different category. I'll have to read closer later -- this subject is making me hungry. (And a reminder that I wanted to pick up a couple of baking potatoes at the store -- thinking of chili-stuffed potatoes to have with a salad while watching the NFC Championship tomorrow.)

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   Chili-stuffed potatoes - YUmm like Homer (0+ / 0-)

        Simpson says it)

      •  The term (0+ / 0-)

        "White Potatoes" refers the color of the skin, as there are three common colors, plus a couple of new ones recently hitting the market.  The original colors were white and red, with the russet only having come on the market within the last thirty years or so.  Now, we also have a gold, or yellow, potato, branded Yukon Gold, as well as a blue that isn't named or marketed very heavily.  And I could see someone pushing for "White Potatoes" to be added to the list, as most white potatoes are from either Idaho or Maine.

        •  All potatoes are fine in moderation. (0+ / 0-)

          They are the only food that will sustain life if there is only one food stuff available, so if you are ever marooned on an island with hardly any food stuff growing there, pray there are potatoes growing on the island. You will not be truly healthy though you will stay alive.

          Having said that, most of us consume to much starch/carbs in our diet, hence the burgeoning waistlines of most Americans. Eat them but not to much of them.

    •  WIC was designed for super-foods (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, SilinCorea, lowt

      such as milk, eggs, vitamin-fortified cereals, OJ, that are too expensive for poor or working people to buy enough of -- so that pregnant and nursing women and babies get the extra nutrition they need.

      Potatoes are good food, in moderation -- but they are inexpensive on their own (traditionally a staple for poor Irish or Eastern Europeans or others), and are not the kind of super-nutrition add-on that WIC was designed for.

      If WIC becomes just another form of SNAP, it will then be killed off.  And if it is structured to encourage people to fill up on starches, it won't do what it's supposed to -- ensure that every baby is a healthy baby.

      That's why the outrage that the WIC list is subject to manipulation by lobbyists.

      •  Organic white potatoes are good for you. They are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego

        an alkaline-forming (as opposed to acid-forming) food and excellent with celtic salt and olive oil instead of butter---IMNSHO!  They also make a delicious, complete, low calorie meal stuffed with yogurt and chopped spinach.

        Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

        by hawkseye on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 02:10:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Uncooked potatoes are worthless. Put potatoes in (0+ / 0-)

      congressional cafeteria everyday for all meals and snacks.  Serve fried potatoes in particular.

    •  In Wisconsin Some idiot fat GOP'er (0+ / 0-)

      came up with a bill that made absolutely zero sense.

      One could tell that this guy hasn't shopped for groceries in his life. Particularly:

      No shredded cheese. Block only, except swiss.

      Often shredded cheese is identical to the block, but it is ON SALE. Also, it's already shredded. It does tend to mold quicker, tho.

      Swiss is ON SALE about once a month, making it a better buy.

      And there were a couple dozen other absurdities.

      I had a SNAP card, & I was even MORE careful in how I spent food-money, like buying on sale, planning ahead, using coupons, going to multiple stores, scanning all the ads.

      My favorite thing is to save a bundle on food, with my own hard-earned money, like $37.00 at Copps, that cost $20.00, 'cause I saved $15.00, $9.00 in coupons.

      White potatoes are starch, which turns right into glucose,
      so I like red, or new, or whatever. A good baker is awesome tho.

  •  Potato farmers tell Congress how much they want (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, FloridaSNMOM, Donkey Hotey

    To sell. They make poor people comply.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:27:31 AM PST

  •  GOP prescription: burlap dresses/potato famine nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, FloridaSNMOM

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:29:35 AM PST

  •  Potatoes are a starch, of course (6+ / 0-)

    They need to be put in the grain category. They're actually quite healthy with the peel on and without so much added fat — as long as they are considered to be a grain and aren't considered a substitute for broccoli.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:32:18 AM PST

    •  Yum. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lencialoo, Donkey Hotey

      What's on My Food

      11% of tested potatoes had o-Phenylphenol, listed as a known carcinogen, suspected hormone disrupter and a developmental or reproductive toxin. (2008 USDA data)

      •  Unfortunately, MANY healthy vegetables (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger

        that have been grown in unhealthy conditions with too many herbicides and pesticides also have such things. That doesn't mean that apples or tomatoes themselves are unhealthy.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:12:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Potatoes (3+ / 0-)

      Potatoes are not healthy. Grains should be very limited in the diet and should not be at the bottom of any food pyramid. Lobbyists have ensured that the government promotes grains as healthy. Additionally, fats are good for you. Eating straight butter is better for your health than eating a potato.

      •  Fats will eventually kill you (5+ / 0-)

        Young people just don't get arteriosclerosis and cancer, but old farts like me do. Even though some people are all excited about Paleo and Atkins, those high-fat, high-protein components of the Standard American Diet of fat, sugar, salt and meat gets you an early death or a life of lots and lots of meds.

        "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

        by Crider on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:20:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  First of all, something will eventually kill you (0+ / 0-)

          Second, it depends on the kind of fat and protein.  Lean protein and real fats (olive oil, butter, lard) in moderation are good for you.  Whereas, carbohydrates always have a negative impact on blood sugar.

          As far as cholesterol and arteries, the cholesterol you consume is not the dangerous kind, the dangerous kind is what your body produces, and that is triggered by the consumption of sugar (including starches that break down into sugar) and trans-fats.  High blood sugar also inflames the walls of your arteries, which your body responds to by building up plaque.  And that is what causes most coronary artery disease.

      •  Grains are historical staple foods (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crider, enemy of the people, sillia

        Wheat (bread, pasta, etc), maize, rice, potatoes, etc have been staple foods for populations around the world for millennia.

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:58:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And then there's acrylamide, formed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Donkey Hotey, FloridaSNMOM

      by exposing starchy foods to high heat. It's a known human neurotoxin and suspected carcinogen.

      From Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jul;57:75-83, Dietary exposure to acrylamide in adolescents from a Canadian urban center, by Normandin et al.:

      Deep-fried french fries consumption contributed the most to daily acrylamide intake (50%) followed by potato chips (10%), oven-baked french fries (8%) and breakfast cereals (8%). Margins of exposure based on genotoxic benchmark dose limits were estimated to be low (≈<100) in high-consumer adolescents, indicating the need to continue efforts to reduce dietary acrylamide exposure.
      •  It ain't the potato, it's the fat (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM

        100 grams of raw potato, including the skin, has 77 calories  and 0 grams of fat.

        100 grams McDonald's french fries has 316 calories, 16.1 grams of fat.

        "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

        by Crider on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:27:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it's the potato. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          Acrylamide isn't formed from fat, and fat doesn't produce the sugar rush.

          •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)
            Deep-fried french fries consumption contributed the most to daily acrylamide intake (50%)
            Better be careful! It's also in coffee and chocolate.
            Acrylamide causes cancer in rats when administered orally in high-dose experiments, increasing tumors in the nervous system, oral cavity, peritoneum, thyroid gland, mammary gland, uterus, and clitoris. There is a margin of 900-fold between the dose that gave cancer to 10% of rats and human exposure to acrylamide in the diet.
            http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/...

            "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

            by Crider on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:56:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  white potato is a high glycemic carb = bad for you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BadKitties

          Yes, deep-fried potato is not a good thing but overall intake of high glycemic carbs should be minimized.

          •  If you're diabetic (0+ / 0-)

            Then obviously, they present a problem. Otherwise, if you're healthy, they're just fine.

            "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

            by Crider on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:26:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's complicated (0+ / 0-)

              The problem is that nearly everything we eat now has fructose corn syrup in it as a preservative, which is a relatively new thing. This means that you actually have to be careful with things like potatoes which are high in carbs.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:44:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  lots of pre-diabetic people (0+ / 0-)

              Actually, it's a potential problem even for people who still have normal blood glucose levels. If one tends to eat multiple servings of high glycemic foods through the day (or more specifically, high glycemic load foods, as badger explains below), the body will experience frequent high insulin spikes to manage the high glucose loads.

              Even if the fasting blood glucose remains in the normal range, the frequent higher insulin states will lead to increased amounts of visceral fat over time.

          •  One of the highest glycemic index foods is (0+ / 0-)

            watermelon. But glycemic index isn't that important - glycemic load is. Eating a few slices of watermelon will have less effect on blood glucose levels than 2 slices of whole wheat bread (or a 12 oz can of soda - about the same glycemic load as the bread).

            I make my own frozen "fries" with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per 3 or 4 6 ounce servings. I bake them, not fry them. The glycemic load for one serving is 18. The target for most people is a total glycemic load of around 100 daily.

            Most fruits and veggies have a fairly low glycemic load, especially fresh, even lower if raw. A raw apple is about 5. Meats have a glycemic index and load of zero.

            Grains, breads, anything with sugar or HFCS or other simple carbs, fruit juices, and similar things have higher glycemic loads.

            As long as you don't over-indulge, there are no "good" or "bad" foods. The one potato I eat (either baked fries, baked, or mashed - always washed but not peeled) also provides about a quarter of daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals, like C, some of the B vitamins, potassium, and even a little dietary fiber.

            If you eat a wide-variety diet, you can pretty much guarantee you get most of the nutrients you need and won't go overboard on things like glycemic load, or fructose (bad for your liver in excess), cholesterol, fats, or whatever.

            No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

            by badger on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:21:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's true what you say about glycemic load... (0+ / 0-)

              ...and certainly, if you only eat a small serving of baked potatoes, that won't cause undue problems.

              But I suspect most people tend to eat potatoes as french fries (deep fried) and they often over-indulge.

              As for no "bad" foods... hmmm... I'm not sure I agree. Highly processed, long shelf-life convenience snack foods have no nutritional value.

              •  Moderation is the key (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                badger

                An occasional Oreo cookie or serving of chips isn't going to kill you -- making that the main part of your diet just might.

                Potatoes are filling, and also high in potassium; not sure if that's particularly needed by pregnant women, but I know if I'm low on potassium I'm more prone to leg cramps.

                There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

                by Cali Scribe on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:17:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for shedding some light rather than heat! (0+ / 0-)

              I have always admired badgers too, although when I say in a recommendation that a candidate goes at work like a badger goes at a rat, it is not always appreciated.  

            •  I totally agree with you about the potatoe. (0+ / 0-)

              It is an acceptable food in moderation.  I also bake my frys, I drizzle a bit of olive oil over them to crisp them up more.  Mostly we eat baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are actually healther.  My husband is diabetic and I am prediabetic, and trying to keep from being diabetic.  It runs in both our families, including several in the family with type 1.  My husband is a bread addict, keeping it away from him is my main concern.  I worry much more about that than potatoes.  He doesn't like sweets so I bake him a white potatoe when I have a sweet one. (also baked) I usually only do frys once a month or so, and then in the oven.  I try to fry very few things and when I do, use olive oil.  

  •  Granted potatos are nutritious (6+ / 0-)

    but they're also terrible for diabetics as well as people with a host of inflammatory disorders. You might as well make them load up on cheap white bread morning noon and night. And if people don't already have such health issues they will soon if they don't eat much else.

    And rich people wonder why the poor tend to be overweight.

    Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

    by Ice Blue on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:38:36 AM PST

  •  And drink a lot of vodka. (0+ / 0-)

    That comes from potatoes, right?

  •  A few comments, as a WIC recipient myself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, MKinTN, Lily O Lady

    The idea behind WIC is to nutritionally support pregnant/nursing woman and children, thus there are specific nutritional requirements for each category. The folic acid requirement for allowed cereals is a big one.

    All of the allowed food lists are updated each year.

    The current info for Minnesota includes:

    Allowed cereals are those that have 100% of the daily folic acid requirement and at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. (Honey Nut Cheerios only have 2 grams of fiber and 50% of the folic acid requirement per serving, so they don't qualify.)

       

    As to potatoes, they require you to get fruits and vegetables with certain general levels of vitamins. White potatoes generally fall short compared to others - if more people ate the skins, that might not be the case. (Yams/sweet potatoes are allowed, for example, because they're loaded with vitamin A.)

     

    Juice - 100% juice only, no blends, cocktails, or diets. Also no fresh squeezed, probably because those tend to be more expensive and budget is a concern. They have to be single flavor, with at least 120% of your daily vitamin C per serving.

       

    Nutritionally, brown rice has more fiber and vitamins than white rice.

       

    For Cheese, you can get plain string cheese, blocks of cheese, and shredded cheese. Acceptable kinds include Cheddar, Colby, Farmer, Jack, Mozzarella, Muenster, Provalone, and Swiss. Combinations of those are okay. (Co-Jack, etc.)

    You can not get cheeses with things in them. (No pepperjack blocks or taco spiced shredded cheeses, for example.)

    No grated cheeses are allowed. (Such as parmesan & romano.) Shredded blends that include parmesan or romano are not allowed.

    Also no processed cheeses (American), cheese spreads, cheese curds, cubes, slices, deli, or imported cheeses (some of which are unpasteurized).

    On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. - Molly Ivins

    by Lashe on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:43:45 AM PST

  •  Rosemary roasted potatoes are good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger

    with onions and carrots, maybe some mushrooms.

    French fries maybe twice a year, and only at the local place up the street from me where they make these great big crispy ones. McDonalds yeck pittooey.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:08:55 AM PST

    •  I make my own "fries" - almost no fat (0+ / 0-)

      Wash russets thoroughly and peel (I don't peel them; YMMV) and then cut potatoes into fries, soak in ice water for 30 minutes (removes some starch), blanch and right back into ice water for a few minutes to stop cooking, dry on a towel, toss a pound to a pound-and-a-half with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (so they don't stick when frozen), then spread in a single layer of a cookie sheet and freeze. When partially frozen, remove from cookie sheet and bag and then back to the freezer to store - I usually do 5 or 6 ounces per serving. Ziploc bags are fine - freezer burn isn't a problem.

      To make them, preheat oven to 425F-450F, arrange fries on non-stick or lightly oiled cookie sheet, bake for 20-30 minutes, turning once half-way through.

      Salt and eat.

      You can also season them when you toss them before freezing - paprika, rosemary, cumin or chile powder, or lots of different ways. The total cost is about 20 cents a pound when you can find potatoes on sale. Goes up to about 50 cents a pound when I splurge and buy the giant russet potatoes, which are actually too big. I also square up the potatoes on the ends and sides and either freeze the thin, flat pieces just like fries, fry them up in oil (I like fried potatoes sometimes too), or turn them into frozen hash browns, if I'm making a batch of those the same day. No waste, except a few ice cubes.

      You can also skip all the freezing steps - blanch, cookie sheets, but not the soaking in ice water - and make them fresh. Takes more prep time for a meal though. I make 5-10 pounds at a time. Blanching them keeps them from turning rusty red - if they do discolor, they're still fine, but don't look as appetizing.

      It's basically a baked potato without butter or sour cream (so even less fat) and the flavor comes from the chemical reaction that occurs when they brown lightly in the oven (Maillard reaction).

      They're different than fast food fries - they actually taste like potatoes.

      No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by badger on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:50:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Baked potato topped with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeathDlr73

      low-fat chili and low-fat shredded cheese -- that's my favorite way of eating potatoes. I'm also pretty particular about them in restaurants, and most of the time will ask to substitute fresh fruit (many restaurants are offering this as an option which is awesome).

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:21:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Twice baked (0+ / 0-)

        Bake, cool, slice in half, scoop out the flesh from the skin. Whip the flesh with 1% milk and a dollop of sour cream (you do need some fat), and load back into the skins. Bake again for 30 @ 350.

        Serve WITH other foods as a side! Steamed veggies, a bit of meat....it's all about balance. Nearly all the WIC approved foods are meat-less, and I prefer to not have anemic kids. Not to mention I seem to have these rather pointy teeth that like to be used periodically.....

        Someone told me you should never make fun of rednecks unless you are one. Well, I are one. - Jeff Foxworthy

        by DeathDlr73 on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:26:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Humans can pretty much live on potatoes and (0+ / 0-)

    milk; many Irish did before the famine.  But processed potatoes (dried, frozen) lose most, if not all, of their nutrition.   And conventionally grown potatoes are pretty knarly, to read Michael Pollen tell it.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:20:24 AM PST

    •  As I recall (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slowbutsure

      when the Irish came over here even before the famine people thought they were a different race because their growth was so stinted and they had a host of other permanent problems. All of these problems went away within a generation as their kids grew up on a healthier diet.

      So, yes, the Irish survived, but the damage it caused growing up on just milk and potatoes was pretty obvious.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:49:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  WIC isn't intended as "survival food" (0+ / 0-)

      It's specifically intended to give pregnant and nursing women and infants the extra protein, calcium, and vitamins they need to thrive (and prevent preemies and birth defects).

  •  Here we go again (4+ / 0-)

    "it's just battling "the perception that potatoes are not as nutritionally valuable as other vegetables and fruits." Which is a case you could possibly make, if most potatoes were consumed baked or boiled with little added fat,"

    The problem is not the fat but the potato itself which is almost entirely starch/carbohydrate.

    Ancel Keys, the man who pushed the low-fat diet, cherry picked his data to fit his hypothesis. Do a web search on his name and you will see his findings thoroughly debunked.

    Skip the potatoes. Eat more broccoli and other greens - raw as often as you can, lightly cooked when you can't. And include some healthy fat because it has been shown that vegetables contain fat soluble vitamins that your body can better absorb if there is fat with the vegetable.

    •  Good information. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB2012

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:10:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My nutritionist recommended eating (0+ / 0-)

      only the skin layer,  quarter to half inch,  of baked or boiled white potato, center is too starchy.

      She recommended baked sweet potato in place of white.

      If I really wanted potatoes, she said go with waxy types, like yellow new, or red new potatoes, and to bake them and let them cool before eating.   Waxy type potatoe starch undergoes changes as they cool  that are better for you than just cooked white/russet potatoes.  

      Also try small heritage potatoes, particularly the yellow and purple ones -- less starch, more skin, and phytochemicals in colored skin that are good for you.  

      I am on a low salt, lower protein, low refined carb, low calorie diet for health reasons.  

    •  Eat baked potatoes instead of rice or bread (0+ / 0-)

      not instead of broccoli, and they're perfectly healthy.

      I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

      by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:30:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's face it -- (5+ / 0-)

    everything we eat is going to kill us. Why not enjoy what we eat (in moderation)?

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:22:51 PM PST

  •  Did I miss something? (3+ / 0-)

    Because I did not read this diary as a rant against potatoes or potato farmers. But that seems to be what all the comments are about.

    Isn't the diary about the hypocrisy of a Congress that has suddenly discovered the W.I.C. program is flawed because it doesn't help their buddies the potato farmers, even though it has always been flawed, paternalistic and not consistent with individual choice?

    This part, seems to me, to be the essence of the diary:

    If lawmakers are only discovering their outrage over this program being "inconsistent with individual choice and promotion of self-responsibility" when it comes to a product grown in their states and widely turned into junk food, with all the promotional muscle that implies, that outrage looks ... less than purely liberty-focused, let's say. Almost like they're more concerned for potato growers than either individual choice or the nutrition of WIC recipients.

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:28:06 PM PST

    •  Seems to be what it turned into (3+ / 0-)

      I am on WIC, and wish potatoes were approved. We periodically buy a 5-lb bag just for the variety from rice now and again.

      Now if I could just get the 3yo to eat beans. I've made them 100 different ways, but he just won't touch them. WIC officials need to remember that no matter what they approve or disapprove of....if the kid doesn't eat it, there's not much point.

      Someone told me you should never make fun of rednecks unless you are one. Well, I are one. - Jeff Foxworthy

      by DeathDlr73 on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:34:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand that W.I.C. is supposed to be a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeathDlr73

        nutritional program, I don't understand how we got from Congress playing favorites with citizens health to Potatoes, good! Potatoes, bad!  

        But you are right. If the kid won't eat it, it isn't nutritional.

        "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

        by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:40:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Potatoes and birth defects (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeathDlr73

    Green, aging and damaged potatoes and potato eyes are teratogens (causes birth defects) and contain toxins. There are innumerable articles on the web regarding this. Of course, this type of starch is not the healthiest way to eat, but certainly one of the cheapest. And once you fry them, forget about it.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:39:27 PM PST

  •  Anyone who thinks pregnant women... (0+ / 0-)

    ...don't crave french fries clearly hasn't known one, at least the one I know.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 03:49:09 PM PST

  •  Eschew white potatoes in favor of cauliflower (0+ / 0-)

    Boil or nuke cauliflower until soft and add anything you would to a potato mash.  Save yourself the poison of simple carbohydrates.  Besides, cauliflower has way more flavor than any potato could hope to have.   Not to  mention a more moist, pleasing texture.  (No starches to react in a nasty way to heat).

  •  And these people and their supporters, (0+ / 0-)

    if the nutritional guidelines were relaxed to allow "individual choice and freedom," would be the first to complain if, heaven forbid, some mother slipped a box of ring dings in her cart, saying, "How dare she spend my tax dollars on junk food!"  At least, it's their go-to complaint for those on SNAP (unless they believe the "Welfare Queen" mythology that everyone on SNAP buys filet and lobster every day).  The Right has managed to politicize feeding infants.

  •  Some Congress people are bottom of the barrel (0+ / 0-)

    dregs of society who would serve the people better if they were in a maximum security prison.  #JustSaying

    Job 10:12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.

    by 99 Percent Pure on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:00:53 PM PST

  •  Lobbyists (0+ / 0-)

    If you can afford to make large enough contributions to political campaigns, science doesn't matter.  Nutritionists
    May not think white potatoes are good for you but they probably are for your representatives' campaign funds and that's the important thing.

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