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Grassroots Advocacy Center
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people point to a 2005 report by the Institute of Medicine, which used now-obsolete nutritional recommendations and outdated consumption data from the mid-1990s to justify excluding potatoes from the program.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.
Growers Stand Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill
On February 23-26, NPC hosted the 2015 Potato D.C. Fly-In, where more than 150 U.S. potato growers and industry partners from across the country came to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the industry's most pressing federal policy priorities. Read more about this event here.
2014 Environmental Stewardship Award
(From left to Right: NPC 2014 President Randy Hard, Brendon Rockey and Sheldon Rockey with wife Nicole.)
Brendon and Sheldon Rockey of Rocky Farms in Center, Colorado, were named recipients of the prestigious 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award presented at the National Potato Council's (NPC) 2015 Annual Meeting, held January 9-10, in Orlando, Florida.
NPC partnered with DuPont Crop Protection, who are the primary sponsor of the award. Read more about this award here.
Complimentary DVD copies are available by emailing Steve Holton at email@example.com or (202) 682-9456.
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.