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Monday, June 6, 2011

Government Takes Aim At Spuds In School Lunches

(Beau B/Flickr)

(Beau B/Flickr)

Here & Now Guest:

Heidi Kessler, a nutrition expert with Let’s Go, a private, non-profit childhood obesity prevention program working with schools in Maine

The USDA has proposed all but eliminating white potatoes from school meals for 32 million children across the country.  The plan is part of a push to cut down on the consumption of starchy vegetables and to fight childhood obesity.  It also comes after last year’s rule banning low-income pregnant women from using federal money to buy white potatoes.

The federal focus on the starchy vegetable has whipped up potato producers, who say the spud is a gateway to other vegetables.  It’s also riling nutritionists, who say it has a lot of vitamins and fiber, and school districts who tout the potato’s affordability.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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