Revenge of the white potato

I grew up on an Aroostook County potato farm where I revered the spud. It represented nutritional calories on the table, money in the bank, and my ability to buy school clothes after serving an annual sentence of forced child labor.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

They are simply delicious! Photo courtesy of Pixabay

I’ve been upset about the WIC program’s sole exclusion of the white potato from fresh vegetable options, and am very proud of Susan Collins’ effort to gain its rightful place in the WIC grocery cart.

While I am excited about this breakthrough, I have unresolved resentment about the maligning of the white potato. And I have a proposal that will exact revenge for all the years of unfairness.

Let’s nominate some other vegetables to take their turn as forbidden WIC vegetables.

  • Sweet potato – This haughty relative of the white potato claims superiority due to its orange color and lower carb content, parading its beta-carotine like a coat of arms. Behind closed doors, however, it makes x-rated vegi-tales with jet-puffed porn star…..the Marshmallow.
  • Broccoli – Nutrients drown in a molten sea of Velveeta.
  • Green beans – “French’s green bean casserole” has impersonated a healthy side dish for decades. Let’s ask Susan to sponsor a bill to make this recipe illegal.
  • Onions – We need to crack down on home onion ring labs, where beer battered ecstasy is fried and served to carb-craving junkies.
  • Tomatoes – You start out with recreational salsa on the weekend, and before you know it these lycopene laden beefsteaks are plastered on pasta and pizza every day of the week.
  • Carrots – Glazed, candied and incorporated into cakes.
  • Celery  – Pretending to be high fiber and low-cal, these hypocrites embed themselves in platters of hot wings with blue cheese dressing.
  • Spinach – One word:  Salmonella.
  • Eggplant – Don’t be fooled by this glossy purple perennial. I did some research and learned they are a relative of tobacco, and bitter-tasting seeds are laced with nicotinic alkaloids. Are we willing to have our most vulnerable become hooked on this addictive nightshade?
  • Cucumbers – How many summer picnics have you attended where this innocent vegetable is corrupted by carbs in a macaroni salad?
  • Beets – You can try to dignify this vegetable with ivy league status, but here is a case where Harvard is just another word for fructose.

I think you get the idea. Every vegetable has its own dirty little secret if you dig deep enough. Let’s celebrate the digging of pure white potatoes, and hope our homegrown tubers fully recover from this nightmare of discrimination.

What do you love about white potatoes?

Check out a song that celebrates my favorite vegetable. Thanks to my reader, George, for sharing it with me.

©2015, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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17 thoughts on “Revenge of the white potato

  1. I don’t think I could remove potatoes from my life. My favourite of course is roasted or mashed but most meals just seem lacking without the humble spud (as we call it in Australia). I actually love all the vegetables you mentioned but usually without the extras. Nothing like good,clean fresh veggies.

    • There is a Vietnamese women who sells delicious food at one of our local farmer’s market, and she remarked one day that if she couldn’t eat rice she would die. Even though I don’t eat potato as frequently as I used to, I feel the same way. It was the food that sustained me through my entire youth. How could I turn my back on it now?

  2. I like white potatoes. I don’t get all the fuss about the evils of potatoes. I do like the idea of nominating vegetables to be reviled though. It will always be parsnips for me!

    • I think white potatoes have been whipped one too many times for my taste. I might have to start a second list with parsnips at the top. I left out turnip from my list on purpose, because it is my second favorite vegetable. 🙂

  3. I love all the veg mentioned in your post – although eggplant is known as aubergine in the UK, most famously used in the Greek dish moussaka. When I visited the Portuguese of Madeira recently I enjoyed the succulent sweet potatoes. Spinach & broccoli are my favourite green vegetables. I’ve been banned from cooking green beans by my family as I went through a stage of adding them in every curry & chicken dish …. not keen on beetroot though (beet) … as for the humble potato – white is good for mash but for really good crispy roast potatoes UK style you can’t beat red potatoes (King Edward) … ?

    • I love all the vegetables I profiled in this blog post, Linda, except eggplant. I don’t even think I’d like it if I called it the UK sophisticated name of aubergine. Of course, potato will forever be my favorite! 🙂

  4. The humble potato in its myriad of forms is my soul mate. I dream of hot chips, potato chips, french fries, mashed potato, baked potato, roast potato…….I think you get my drift – glad you are a fellow potato fan x

    • We are definitely potato-lovin’ sisters, Leanne. Yum! I don’t eat it nearly as much as I did growing up when it was served practically three times/day. But it is still my favorite and I relish every morsel.

  5. First, buy a 50 lb sack from the big truck parked in front of the Brewer bowling alley. Yes, that’s way to many potatoes. So, next, put a few in a plastic grocery bag on a hook next to the front door and give it away to the next person who visits. Right after they leave, get another grocery bag and a few more potatoes and put them on the hook for the next person. Meanwhile, whey you get up in the morning, put 2 or 3 small ones in tin foil in the edge of the fire in the fireplace (or in the oven). A great way to start the day: the smell of crispy, slightly charred potatoes. Check out the potato song, Cheryl Wheeler

    • I love your idea! I’ve always wanted to buy a 50 lb bag of potatoes but feared they would spoil before two of us mash our way through them all. Now I know how to do it and spread potato joy to others at the same time. As for the song….it has made my day! I may imbed it in my post and will also share on Facebook. I LOVE it!

  6. I grew up in Aroostook County too. 🙂 My mom worked potato harvest for several years. She would bring home the biggest and oddest looking potatoes from the fields. Potatoes kept our large family from going hungry. Love ’em, no matter what color they are!

  7. I loved that they helped send me to college! And that they go great with deer steak and fiddle heads!

  8. This is great Molly. I never ate Eggplant but maybe we should start, I wonder if th nicotinic alkaloids will help my husband quit smoking, better to swap a cigarette with an eggplant. I’m guilty of pouring on the velveeta over my broccoli. We eat whipped, white potatoes at least four days a week. The potassium helps lesson my leg cramps. My favorite potato recipe is Maine Potato Candy (home made needhams). The best ones are made at The Govoner’s in Aroostook County. My mother made them every Christmas. aren’t they a health food, potato, coconut and dark chocolate? That’s the best excuse I have for eating that tasty treat.

    • I like that you are eating white potatoes at least four times/week. Way to support our nutritious Maine vegetable! You might be onto something with the Eggplant. Since it is one of the only vegetables I don’t like it would be good if it could have some redeeming value!

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