It’s not exactly a secret that potatoes have critics — enemies, even. For instance, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health advises Americans to “eat more vegetables and fruits every day” but also to “skip the potatoes — choose other vegetables that are packed with more nutrients and more slowly digested carbohydates.”
Them are fightin’ words to the U.S. potato industry, which likes to describe spuds as “America’s favorite vegetable.” I’m on the online mailing list for the Alliance for Potato Research and Education, an industry-funded organization “committed to informing the conversation that white potatoes are affordable, nutrient-dense vegetables and are an important part of USDA’s MyPlate.”
The Alliance’s latest mailing is on the trans-fat content of French fries, which “has declined in the last decade to become virtually undetectable,” according to the email.
I’m not a scientist or nutritionist. I’m not qualified to say whether the critics or defenders are right. You’ll need to study the evidence and make up your own mind.
But I will say this: I planted red and white potatoes in the garden this spring. I’m going to eat ’em and enjoy ’em.