Looks like potatoes are back on the OK to Eat This list, and the usual thumbsuckers are outraged.
Nutritionist Marion Nestle and other progressive reformers called foul, denouncing the change. “Really?” Nestle scoffed. “I have a hard time believing that WIC recipients are suffering from lack of potatoes in their diets.” Several watchdog groups and the national WIC advocacy group opposed the change, too. “It’s disappointing that politics has trumped science,” Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told reporters.
It seems that much of what
our betters the Feds have been telling us about foods and nutrition is a bunch of Just-So Stories:
Rather it’s that the David-and-Goliath narrative of science versus Big Ag may be blinding us to another, even bigger problem: the fact that there is often very little solid science backing recommendations about what we eat.
Most of our devout beliefs about nutrition have not been subjected to a robust, experimental, controlled clinical trial, the type of study that shows cause and effect, which may be why Americans are pummeled with contradictory and confounding nutritional advice.
Any day now, I expect to hear that I should add a shot of tequila to my ideal breakfast of steak and (whole) eggs…and potatoes.
Update (14 April): There’s evidence to suggest that we can improve the good carbs-bad carbs ratio by changing the way we prepare starchy foods. I’ve replaced mashed and roasted potatoes with cooked-then-chilled potatoes (mmm, spicy potato salad).