separating Fact from fiction in the wic/potato debate
Since USDA proposed its rule to allow all fresh fruits and vegetables – except white potatoes – to be included in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the U.S. potato industry has worked to educate federal decision makers about the benefits of also allowing nutritious potatoes into the program.
Some people point to a 2005 report by the Institute of Medicine, which used now-obsolete nutritional recommendations and outdated consumption data from the mid-1990s to justify excluding potatoes from the program. U.S. potato growers believe that USDA should base its nutritional policies on today’s science and the most up-to-date consumption data.
Potatoes contain high amounts of potassium and dietary fiber – two vital nutrients that are under-consumed by WIC-participating mothers and their children – and, at $0.19 per serving, help participants stretch their WIC vouchers. Since WIC participants are not meeting their recommended intake levels of starchy vegetables, as identified in USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adding potatoes to the program will help eliminate that consumption gap.
Given that WIC vouchers can be used to purchase potatoes at farmers markets but not at grocery stores, removing the ban on the purchase of fresh white potatoes in grocery stores adds consistency to the program and eliminates confusion.
2014 Potato Statistical yearbook Available online
NPC is pleased to announce that its 2014 Potato Statistical Yearbook – an invaluable and comprehensive resource for growers, industry members, academics, and policy makers – is now available. In addition to the most recent data on potato production, disposition and value of U.S. potatoes, the yearbook includes NPC public policy briefs, a USPB domestic and international marketing update, and potato nutrition and data quick facts for easy reference throughout the year.
NPC would like to thank the industry advertisers and its 2014 Grower Supporters and Sustaining Members for once again making the printing and distribution of the yearbook possible.
A digital version of the 2014 Potato Statistical Yearbook can be found here.
2014 NPC Scholarship winner announced
NPC is pleased to award Washington Luis da Silva, a plant pathology Ph.D. student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., its 2014-15 Academic Scholarship.
Da Silva is an enthusiastic researcher and dedicated student, who has proven to be a leader both inside and outside of the classroom. His extensive research experience, combined with memberships in several professional organizations, demonstrate that da Silva has invested heavily in becoming an expert in his field of study. NPC anticipates that his current and future research into potato diseases will greatly benefit the industry.
Each year, NPC awards one $10,000 scholarship to a graduate student pursuing advanced studies that will improve the future of the potato industry. Final scholarship selection is based on academic achievement, leadership abilities, and the potential commercial value of the applicant’s academic work.
POTATO FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES RELEASED
The Commodity-Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production, Harvest, Storage, and Packing of Potatoes is available for industry members to help ensure the continued safety of U.S.-grown potatoes.
This document offers food safety guidance for all companies that produce, harvest, store, pack, and transport potatoes. It also serves as a basic guideline to harmonize all existing food safety programs in how they assess and address food safety hazards. The guidelines are broken down into four sections: I) General Practices, II) Production and Harvest Operations, III) Storage Unit Operations and IV) Packinghouse Unit Operations. Each section lists a set of best practices to address potential food safety issues associated with those specific operations.
potato expo 2015 - registration opens tues. sept. 2!
POTATO EXPO 2015
Rosen Shingle Creek
January, 7-9, 2015