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Posts tagged: potatoes

Spud skirmish lands in federal court

There's apparently something of a potato price war on, the Associated Press reports, as a battle between grocers and potato growers has a U.S. wholesaler accusing America's spud farmers of driving up prices while spying on farmers with satellites and aircraft fly-overs to enforce strict limits on how many tubers they can grow. The spud skirmish has been silently hitting shoppers' pocketbooks, the Associated Wholesale Grocers charge in a lawsuit against potato growers in U.S. District Court in Idaho, while the growers say they're just doing smart marketing through agricultural cooperatives as authorized by a 1922 federal law. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Simpson amendment to add potatoes to WIC program clears House committee

Second District Congressman Mike Simpson's amendment to include fresh potatoes in the federal WIC nutrition program has cleared a House committee. “Fresh potatoes have been excluded from the WIC program despite their widely known nutritional value,” the potato-state lawmaker said. “This amendment corrects the exclusion of fresh potatoes and allows participants to make wholesome food choices for their young families.”

The amendment to the 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill was approved on a voice vote in the House Appropriations Committee, on which Simpson serves; click below for his full news release.

U.S. Senate backs unlimited spuds in school lunches

The U.S. Senate today voted to block an Obama Administration proposal to limit potatoes in school lunches to two servings a week; instead, the lawmakers voted to block the USDA from putting any limits on serving potatoes or other vegetables in school lunches. The amendment approved on a voice vote in the Senate today was proposed by GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, both potato-growing states. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Mary Clare Jalonick in D.C.

Gov. Otter: Potato getting a ‘bad rap’

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is ripping the new Harvard University study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that finds a link between eating Idaho's most famous crop - the potato - and weight gain.  “News flash: Regularly eating ANYTHING in an irresponsible way contributes to weight gain and other health concerns!” Otter declares in an op-ed piece. He adds, “You might be interested to know that at age 69, besides being Governor I still actively work my ranch and compete in rodeo events – and I get my energy from regularly eating Idaho’s famous potatoes – Harvard, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Los Angeles Times notwithstanding.” Click below to read his full.

Simpson hails demise of USDA’s ‘biased anti-potato rule’

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson says a proposed USDA rule to limit potatoes, corn, green peas and lima beans to one cup per week in school lunches was “senseless” and costly, and he's hailing the passage in the House today of the fiscal year 2012 agriculture appropriations bill, HR 2112, which includes language designed to head off the rule. “The USDA proposed rule would have been another completely unnecessary, unfunded mandate by the federal government,” Simpson said, extolling the nutritional benefits of potatoes. “A medium potato contains over 200 milligrams more potassium than a banana and has as much fiber as a similar serving of broccoli,” the congressman said in a statement. Schools would have faced substantial increased costs to comply, he said; the approprations bill includes a clause directing the USDA to issue a new proposed rule that will not carry any increased costs for schools. You can read Simpson's full news release here.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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