School Lunch Potato Ban

New nutritional guidelines from the USDA may drastically reduce the presence of potatoes in school lunches.

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Tater tots and French fries, long considered staples of school-cafeteria fare, may soon be absent from students’ plates. The US Department of Agriculture launched a proposal this year that would revamp lunch menus to include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but reduce the consumption of starch-heavy veggies, such as potatoes, corn, peas, and lima beans. The new criteria were drafted in accordance with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which demands that the USDA base nutritional guidelines on science-based recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. If implemented, the new guidelines would go into effect next summer, but currently the USDA is reviewing more than 130,000 comments from supporters and opponents of the initiative. The Senate is also due to discuss the proposal in the coming months.

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