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National Potato Council: "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner"

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The USDA has proposed eliminating white potatoes from all federally subsidized school breakfasts and limiting students to one cup of starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, green peas, and lima beans) per week, in favor of leafy greens and other, "healthier" foods.

Naturally, the National Potato Council has gone positively apes--t and is launching an all-out offensive to defend the potato's honor -- as well as the incomes of all the potato farmers the Council represents.

Beginning with a reminder that "kids love potatoes and schools love to serve them,"  the Potato Council takes a swipe at the competition:

"One serving of a baked potato, at just 138 calories, is an excellent source of potassium—far more than a banana. It’s also a good source of fiber—more than a serving of broccoli."

But the Council quickly switches direction, obviously not wanting to burn any bridges over at the Broccoli Association or the Onion Growers League:

"Recent research shows potatoes do not displace other vegetables on the plate," the Council explains. "In fact, when potatoes are served, a wider variety of vegetables are consumed. Potatoes are a true gateway vegetable."

In true gateway drug fashion, gateway vegetables (like potatoes) on the plate "may be an indicator of a more nutrient-dense and healthful meal," according to the Potato Council.

John Keeling, the council's CEO, tells ABC News that "There may be preparations that are better than others, but there are no bad fruits or vegetables."

And potato-friendly politicians are up in arms, as well.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine -- a state that produced roughly 6% of the nation's potatoes last year -- challenged the USDA at a March hearing, saying, "One medium white potato has nearly twice as much vitamin C as an entire head of iceberg lettuce. My question, Mr. Secretary, is what does the department have against potatoes?"

What's more American than the spud? I mean, aside from Mom, baseball, and apple pie? The french fry, that's what.

Even the North Koreans know the true value of a good potato:

Friends, freedom isn't free. And if we allow the mighty potato to fall, Kim Jong-Il wins.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.