Udall wins one for the potato

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U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has successfully integrated an amendment into a package of bills funding several federal agencies, to prevent "unnecessary limits on the amount of starchy vegetables that schools can serve."

"Udall introduced his school lunch amendment to the agriculture bill, co-sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), after hearing concerns from Colorado school administrators and potato growers about a U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal in January to limit starchy vegetables — such as potatoes, peas, corn and lima beans — to one cup per week on the lunch menu and eliminate potatoes from school breakfasts," reads a press release. "Udall believes that we should be teaching our kids about responsible food preparation, and that schools should have flexibility in what they serve to schoolchildren while remaining consistent with the most recent dietary guidelines issued by the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services."

Here's what the senator had to say about the amendment while it was pending, as reported by the Summit Daily on Oct. 25:

“I think this is a triple win for Colorado: First, children get access to baked and mashed potatoes that are full of fiber and potassium. Second, schools get the flexibility to plan school lunches — especially with the budget cuts they all face — and third, we support Colorado jobs that produce homegrown food,” Udall told reporters over the phone late last week.

Colorado is the fifth-largest potato-growing state, and Sen. Collins' Maine is sixth.

Having passed the Senate, the bills are now headed for the U.S. House.

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