Hold the Fries: Are Potatoes Losing Their Veggie Status?

Hold the Fries: Are Potatoes Losing Their Veggie Status?

Spuds Under the Microscope

Get ready for a potential veggie shake-up! The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service spilled the beans (or should we say, potatoes) that when Americans think about veggies, they’re mainly thinking potatoes and tomatoes. Back in 2019, the average American wolfed down almost 50 pounds of potatoes and gobbled up around 31 pounds of tomatoes. Not a huge surprise, right? Those French fries and pizza slices played a starring role. But here’s the lowdown: the USDA is thinking about giving potatoes a new label. Instead of hanging out with veggies, they might find a new home among grains, rice, and other carb buddies.

Potatoes Makeover Chatter

Listen up, because the word on the street (or Wall Street Journal, to be exact) is that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is cooking up something big for the 2025 dietary guidelines. These are the folks who represent the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. They’re considering shuffling the deck in the veggie department, and potatoes could be the ones getting shuffled. Right now, the dietary guidelines have five main categories: dairy, fruit, grains, protein, and veggies. But with different diets and eating habits on the rise, these categories might be in for a remix. The end goal? Making sure everyone gets the nutrients they need, whether they’re munching on potatoes, bread, or beans.

Spud Showdown

Hold on, because drama is unfolding in the veggie aisle! The National Potato Council and The Grain Chain, both big groups in the food biz, are giving a big thumbs-down to the potato makeover. They’re not having it— potatoes are veggies, end of story. Kam Quarles, the big boss at the National Potato Council, made it clear during a hearing with the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. His message? Let potatoes keep their veggie title, thank you very much.

Potato Fans vs. Carb Crew

Now, why all the fuss? It’s about where potatoes fit into the food kingdom. If they end up hanging out with grains and rice, it’s a game-changer. Potato lovers aren’t too thrilled about this potential shift, and they’re making sure their voices are heard. On the flip side, the carb supporters argue that it’s all about balancing nutrients for everyone, no matter which carb-heavy foods they choose to munch on.

What’s on the Line?

Right now, it’s a waiting game. The outcome of this veggie tug-of-war could change how we see and treat potatoes in the food world. Will they stay our beloved sidekick to burgers and steaks, or will they be joining the ranks of grains and rice? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure—the humble potato is taking center stage, and its fate hangs in the balance.