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The USDA has declared war on potatoes — come for our poutine, I dare you!

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The real question isn’t: are potatoes vegetables? It’s what should I do with these potatoes? Mash? Roast? Grill? Boil? Bake? Potatoes can be turned into a salad, soup or chips. Try doing that with artichokes.

What is a potato?

Until this week, I never wondered. The real question: what should I do with these potatoes? Mash? Roast? Grill? Boil? Bake? Potatoes can be turned into a salad, soup or chips. Try doing that with artichokes – they have no heart.

Just about every country has potato recipes. I have yet to meet someone who is potato intolerant. Tubers are the unsung heroes of the culinary world.

But there is now a war on potatoes. As the Washington Post reported Thursday: “Could potatoes lose their status as a vegetable? The debate has deep roots.”

Health agencies are considering reclassifying the spud – there’s a reason endive doesn’t have a cool nickname – and peeling away its veggie bragging rights.

Should the potato be a grain? Papier mâché? Something else?

Advocates want us to stop calling a potato a vegetable over health concerns. It seems there’s no point in recommending a daily intake of five servings of fruits and vegetables if all five are coming from a frozen bag of McCain fries.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture may officially deveggify potatoes next year. Since other countries take their cues from the USDA, you might soon find yourself at a bistro ordering a side of scalloped grains.

Come on. Do potato lovers – I would walk across broken glass for frites – really give a gnocchi about classification? You could designate ice cream a neurotoxin and that would not put a dent in the lineup at Baskin-Robbins.

I’m all for good health. I just don’t get this obsession with rebranding.

And it goes far beyond starchy root vegetables.

Whether it was Twitter or X, both are a total waste of time now that Elon Musk has shoved the platform into a dumpster of burning cabbage. You know why Torontonians may face a steep hike in property taxes? The geniuses on city council keep blowing taxpayer dollars on utterly pointless vanity projects to virtue signal instead of solving real problems.

It’s not like Yonge-Dundas Square was called Stalin Square. Now we are renaming it Sankofa Square? Ridiculous. We should have at least gone with Rice Krispies Square and finagled a few sponsorship bucks out of Kellogg’s.

The food scientists and killjoy regulators just keep confusing us.

Business Insider once published a story about gastronomic misnomers. The lessons included “avocados are giant berries,” “green beans are not vegetables since they contain seeds,” and the rather helpful “corn could be considered a fruit and a vegetable.”

This does not happen elsewhere in the culture. A book is not also a mirror.

Or consider this entry from Britannica: “Tomatoes are fruits that are considered vegetables by nutritionists. Botanically, a fruit is a ripened flower ovary and contains seeds. Tomatoes, plums, zucchinis, and melons are all edible fruits, but things like maple ‘helicopters’ and floating dandelion puffs are fruits too.”

These botanists should board a maple helicopter and go to the moon.

Is filet mignon an essential oil since it doubles as a balm for my soul?

There are so many oddities in the eating score keeping. Why does Health Canada include legumes in the “meat” taxonomy? What are smoothies? My wife made a “healthy” one recently and my classification would be: absolutely disgusting.

In a past life, I think she worked at Tim Hortons.

One Health Canada chart I was reading Thursday had a category called, “Foods and Beverages That Are Not Classified.” The first line item was … “Recipes.”

Huh? I have read fortune cookies less baffling: “To find yourself play hide and seek alone.”

That’s not a game, you cookie soothsayers – that’s a nervous breakdown!

Listen carefully, anti-spud warriors. If it is a war you want, it is a greasy war you shall get. Stripping a potato of indigenous veg rights does not make a lick of sense. Curly fries are immune to your Dewey Decimal System. Come for our poutine and you couch potatoes are playing a dangerous game of hot potato.

It’s too late to cast aspersions on our Loaded Baked Potato Casseroles.

You can’t power an LED bulb with celery.

There’s a reason potatoes are routinely ranked as the most consumed vegetable across the free world and cauliflower is understood to be a crime against humanity. But you should be eating more carrots and broccoli.

Shut up and give me another scoop of that garlic mash.

I’m not arguing for processed foods. I am just stating my undying love of potatoes. It’s like anything else: potatoes are what you make of them.

The Washington Post story quoted Dolly Parton: “Every diet I’ve ever fell off of has been because of a potato… Potato, potato, potato! I’ve never met a spud I didn’t like.”

I didn’t think it was possible to love her more.

You know what will happen when potatoes are no longer a vegetable? About 70 per cent of the population will never eat a vegetable again.

But go ahead and reclassify my latkes as raw sewage. Doesn’t matter.

If loving potatoes is wrong, I don’t want to be right with kale crisps.

*****
Credit belongs to : www.thestar.com

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