Oh the Potato. It is beloved by most, hated by some, and is proving to be quite the hot topic.
Potato’s popularity took a hit with the low-carb fad of the 90′s. It is a vegetable, but a starchy one-meaning it is higher in calories and carbohydrates than most veggies(broccoli, lettuce, celery etc.) Still eating potatoes with the skin provides vitamin C, potassium and some fiber. I had a biology professor once say eating a potato was like eating sugar and there was no nutritional value to potatoes. That was during my freshmen year of college(before studying nutrition) and it made me sad. I grew up loving potatoes and was once laughed at for ordering a baked potato with a side of french fries (I think I was 10 at the time). 2 years later my biochemistry professor, who was a potato researcher, hailed the potato as a nutrient powerhouse and great addition to any diet.
Personally, I think potatoes are a fantastic addition to the diet. They are naturally gluten free, inexpensive and nutritious when prepared in a . The problem I see with potatoes is that they are mostly eaten in their deep fried state as french fries or tater tots, or as mashed potatoes smothered in butter and cream and salt etc.
What is prompting my potato talk today? I spotted an article in the NYTimes . The U.S. Department of Agriculture had proposed reducing the amount of white potatoes served at lunch and cutting them out of school breakfast. Their reasoning was not that potatoes are bad, but that children eat enough potatoes outside of school and don’t have enough exposure to other vegetables. They also felt it would limit the amount of french fries and tater tots being served. The opposition feels that it is too restrictive and the USDA shouldn’t limit any sort of vegetables in schools. And the opposition won in the senate.
My final thoughts: most of us probably need more veggies in our diets, try and eat a variety of vegetables and think of the starchy ones more as grains (potatoes, peas, lima beans, corn) in your diet.
What are your thoughts on potatoes? And let me know what you think of the article if you read!