The End of Tater Tots? A Proposal to Ban Potatoes in Schools

The Wall Street Journal

The potato has had it rough the past few years. First that whole low carb craze, and now an effort to eliminate potatoes in school lunches? Really, what's so bad about the potato? Do you think it should be banned?

When you stack it up against more colorful and nutrient packed vegetables (carrots, spinach and the like), it's true that the humble potato doesn't seem like much. And, it's hard to deny that the most popular forms of spuds served in schools are those fried and bathed in oil. But, it's still one of the few vegetables that every kid will eat. Is it a smart move on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to propose eliminating it all together?

Those against the plan argue that potatoes are a "gateway vegetable" for kids, which, frankly, makes the potato sound a little more appealing that it actually is. I don't believe a plate full of tater tots will entice a kid to try broccoli anymore than they would ordinarily. The government should focus on limiting how potatoes and other foods can be prepared by limiting the amount of fat used to prepare them. However, if too many french fries served in schools poses a problem, it's far easier to limit potatoes than to issue guidelines on how potatoes should be served to maximize health benefits. I believe the government should focus on teaching schools healthy ways to prepare potatoes (hello, baked potato bar!) instead of banning them all together.

What do you think?

Read more: Spuds, on the Verge of Being Expelled, Start a Food Fight in the Cafeteria at The Wall Street Journal

Related: Who Eats A Better Lunch: You Or A French 3-Year-Old?

(Images: Flickr user paulcole licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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