Student Well-Being

Spuds Lobby Irked at USDA Meal Rules

By Nirvi Shah — October 11, 2011 1 min read

If some folks had their way, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed rules about school meals might be better off without the part that limits the amount of potatoes schoolchildren can be served.

During a press briefing last week, the National Potato Council made its case for why potatoes should have more of a showing on school lunch trays than the USDA is proposing. The agency’s proposal would limit potatoes, corn, green peas, and lima beans to one cup a week.

The change to school meals is one of many proposed following the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in late 2010. The meal proposal reflects recommendations from the Institutes of Medicine. Others include serving more green and orange vegetables, cutting the fat in milk, serving more whole grains, and making meals with less sodium. The USDA is expected to finalize the rules later this year or early next, and school cafeterias would have to put them into practice during the 2012-13 school year.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of the sponsors of the briefing, said the way the rules are now written, if baked potatoes were served on Monday, corn on the cob couldn’t be served Thursday. Fish chowder or beef stew made with potatoes would be out, too.

Ms. Collins, who voted for the law that gave the USDA the power to rewrite school meal rules, sponsored the discussion with other lawmakers from potato-growing states, including Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.; Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; and Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio. But not all lawmakers from potato-growing states are united on the issue. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., has asked people to thank Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for the proposed nutrition standards, in particular the limits on potatoes.

Sen. Collins pledged to try to force the USDA’s hand when the agriculture spending bill comes up for discussion on the Senate floor.

“The bottom line is, the departments rule simply goes too far,” Ms. Collins said. “It would unfairly hurt a vegetable that is easily accessible and popular.”

A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2011 edition of Education Week as Spuds Lobby Irked at USDA Meal Rules

Events

Leadership Live Event EdWeek Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

President and CEO
Alexandria, Virginia
National Association of State Boards of Education
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Whitepaper
Guide: Supporting K-12 Student Success
Download this guide to create impactful family and community partnerships.
Content provided by Salesforce
Student Well-Being What the Research Says 6 Feet or 3 Feet: How Far Apart Do Students Need to Be?
The new CDC guidelines call for spacing students 6 feet apart to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But schools elsewhere use a 3-foot buffer.
5 min read
Image of a classroom.
miljko/E+/Getty
Student Well-Being Fauci's Latest on Vaccines for Young Kids: Not Likely This Year
A COVID-19 vaccine probably won’t be ready for elementary students until 2022, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, walking back prior comments.
2 min read
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as President Joe Biden visits the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health on Feb. 11, 2021, in Bethesda, Md.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as the president visits the National Institutes of Health on Feb. 11.
Evan Vucci/AP
Student Well-Being Opinion New Research Explains Why Confessions Are Convincing
Admitting mistakes makes you come across as knowledgeable—and it’s a good way to model intellectual humility.
Sam Maglio
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty