Some of the most widely consumed foods in the world, such as hash browns, potato chips, and french fries, are made from potatoes. Though currently regarded as a vegetable, may that change to make them a grain?
The U.S. Dietary standards Advisory Committee is drafting its 2025 dietary standards and may change the classification of the American food staple, therefore a decision on the matter should be made soon.
Over a hundred food and health specialists have spoken before the committee to offer feedback on the guidelines.
Among them were delegates from the National Dairy Council, National Food and Beverage Alliance, Coalition for Healthy School Food, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and National Pasta Association.
In his oral evidence at the September conference, Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, encouraged the committee to decide that a potato is not a grain.
“Starchy vegetables and grains are two vastly different food groups that play distinctly different roles in contributing nutrients to the diet,” Quarles told the committee.
“Unlike grains, white potatoes are a strong contributor of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 and fiber. Research shows that diets high in vegetable consumption, including potatoes, promote healthy outcomes overall.”
According to Quarles, potatoes are a “springboard vegetable” that raises participation and reduces food waste while introducing kids to different kinds of less-consumed veggies.
The most popular veggies in America, according to the USDA, are potatoes and tomatoes.
According to agriculture officials, the average American eats over fifty pounds of potatoes annually. In the previous four years, potato output has decreased while consumer demand has increased, leading to an increase in potato prices in the US.
The public is invited to participate remotely in the fourth meeting of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on January 19, beginning at 8:30 a.m. EST, as announced in December by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture.