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White potatoes could be eligible under WIC

White potatoes could be eligible under WIC

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Nutritionists with the Institute of Medicine say Americans don't need more white potatoes, but one Idaho representative disagrees.

Mike Simpson is trying to get white potatoes back on the list of vegetables eligible under the Womens, Infants and Children program.

The Wall Street Journal said Simpson wrote a provision in a budget law that would restore potatoes. Currently people in the WIC program can buy sweet potatoes and yams, but not white potatoes.    

The director of the program in eastern Idaho said there is a reason for that, but it has nothing to do with nutrition.

"It is not because they are not nutritious or healthy, it's that our participants are already consuming a lot of potatoes. People already know how to cook them, prepare them, they like them, they enjoy them, but we're trying to expose them to different nutrients," said Angy Cook.

The Department of Agriculture now has to make a decision. If the Secretary of Agriculture declines, he will have to submit a report to Congress within 15 days explaining why.

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