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The National Potato Council Wants Kids to be Fat and Assumes that Moms are Stupid

This morning I got an email that reads:

Dear Mommy Blogger:

I am a mother of two small children (and for full disclosure work for our nation’s potato farmers, so I am slightly biased but would feel the same even if I didn’t work for them) and wanted to make sure you were aware that the US Department of Agriculture is about to make a HUGE mistake by severely limiting servings of potatoes in schools.  As an influential blogger, I am asking you to help spread the word.  We need moms to weigh in before potatoes are removed from schools!

At a time when all Americans, especially kids, are not eating enough vegetables, we should be encouraging more choices, not less. Potatoes are nutrient-dense and provide kids the potassium, fiber and vitamin C they need.  In fact, removal of the number one source of potassium—potatoes—in their diet may put children in danger of key nutrient deficiency.

To find out more you can go to .  We need moms to tell USDA to keep potatoes in schools.  Comments to the USDA are due to by 5:00pm EST April 13 so there’s not a lot of time to waste.

Thank you for your help in spreading the word.

Hollee Alexander
Mom to Rylee, age 3, and Finley Mae, 10 months (both avid potato eaters!)
[email protected]


I’m not willing to address the fact that potatoes are not a particularly good for you food, but I would like to show you something VERY interesting.

When I clicked on the header to see where the email originated from I saw this. Full disclosure isn’t a sentence in parenthesis, full disclosure is sending the email with your work address at the National Potato Council, in the office you were sitting in when you sent the email?

This is how the potato council thinks they can get the word out


Unfotunately the National Potato Council has their own server

When I search for that IP address I found this

The National Potato Council Thinks Moms Are Stupid

30 thoughts on “The National Potato Council Wants Kids to be Fat and Assumes that Moms are Stupid”

  1. Just goes to show you – just because you’re using yahoo (or any other) webmail, you’re not totally hidden. ;-)

    And while there are worse things, Potatoes are full of STARCH and while that’s a good thing if you spend all day toiling in the fields, it does *NOT* make for a healthy diet in this sedentary age.

  2. I wonder whether she was doing this of her own volition (to save her job/paycheque perhaps because she maybe sees some writing on the wall) or if her boss actually said “Hey, you’re a mom blogger right…could you send an e-mail to some of your friends from your personal e-mail and ask them to support this crap.”

  3. She says potato, but for some reason I smell french fries. There’s nothing wrong with a baked potato now and then but seriously why not add, oh, I don’t know, a SECOND VEGGIE to the friggin’ school lunch tray? We need to stop believing that kids need so many carbs, because even active kids don’t. Fat for the brain and protein for the muscles and a metric f-ton of veggies for vitamins and minerals and trace carbs for…the sake of moderation. Also fruit for dessert. It just isn’t that difficult, Gah! (I want to pay for school lunches for my own convenience, but the school lunch menu means lunch gets packed. Every day. I hate it. Oh, except one pizza day a month, because absolute denial – in my opinion – breeds absolute rebellion.)

  4. I so love it when you get all Nancy Drew-ish. Like you, won’t debate nutritional merits of potatoes here (only their benefits as a hemorrhoid cure, ask my husband) but for sure this is a case of slippery disclosure. Not well done.

  5. Wonder if she’s the same Hollee Alexander that serves as the Director of Industry Communications at the National Potato Council? One would think she’d be proud of such a title and advertise it accordingly.

  6. Leah Segedie @bookieboo

    I don’t have a problem with children eating potatoes. My children eat them all the time. In fact, taking potato skins filling them with broccoli and sprinkling them with cheese is a powerful food. Potatoes are a natural food that kept my people in Ireland alive. I’m not about to go bashing the Potato Board for anything.

    And the disclosure didn’t bother me at all. I understood what they meant. And I’m not paid by the potato people to say this.

  7. What? You mean moms can actually *gasp* use internet tools??? [/sarcasm]

    Seriously, just sending it from a email address doesn’t mean you aren’t traceable. And this: “(and for full disclosure work for our nation’s potato farmers, so I am slightly biased but would feel the same even if I didn’t work for them)”
    is not a full disclosure.

    Had she said, “as a mom who works for the national potato council” or “when my employers, the national potato council asked me to send this I was happy to, because I believe this message” or hell, even “and for full disclosure work for the national potato council, on behalf of our nation’s potato farmers, who did/didn’t ask me to send this to you.”

    Personally? I’m a huge potato fan. As is my child with the limited food list intake. But I make sure she’s eating healthily myself. Can’t imagine the whole lunch program at public schools anymore. Whatever. It was lame of her to do it that way.

  8. Jessica, I love your investigative skills. Way to go. As a side note, potatoes are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber — especially when you eat the skin. Unfortunately it’s how we prepare a potato that makes it so unhealthy – potato chips, french fries, and mashed potatoes heavy with cream and butter.

    1. I image that the dismantling of the food pyramid we were all shown in elementary school is leading to a less starchy school lunch that (can we hope) will give kids more veggies and protein.

  9. Maybe she was sending it from work? From her private email but using their server? My husband does that all the time, uses his private yahoo email to send messages to me, kids teachers, etc. because his “work” email is for….well, work. Just a thought….

    1. Upon further examination it appears that Hollee is, in fact, the director of communications for the national potato council.

      Has she simply used her work email address it would have been an innocuous (if poorly written) pitch, just like mom bloggers get every day of the week.

  10. I like potatoes and am not fat, but I totally agree this is BS and, as someone who works in the association world, it makes me cringe to see this because I can totally see the scenario that caused them to think this was a good idea. Somone did a webinar on how mom bloggers are the new way to get your message out, and the way to do it is to emphasize that you’re a fellow mom. So instead of approaching mom bloggers as an official representative of the organization, it will be more “authentic” to have it coming from a mom. Saying “I work for our nation’s potato farmers” is association-speak for “I work for the National Potato Council” but it definitely doesn’t come close to disclosure.

  11. How very noir(ish) of you – as someone stated, very Nancy Drew like, but I prefer a noir version of her. Anyway – I’m not a tater hater and think a better message sent about the taters and school: better preparation. My kids HATE the fries at school. They say they are very soggy etc etc. Even better my kids often chose salads over the other meals. I had nothing to do with their thoughts on this choices either. BUT yeah…down with the fried, potato chips etc – I’m cool with that. Either way, my biggest thought is maybe she sent it from her personal email cause she knew you’d probably hit the big ol’ delete button. Sneaky Sneaky.

  12. I like sweet potatoes better.

    And I am not one of those people that think sweet potatoes & yams are the same food. ;)

    Hollee is sillee.

  13. And you say you have no interest in being a journalist! C’mon! I love the investigative research you do.

    Here’s what bothers me — the woman works in the communications department. I went from journalist to PR consultant and I was ultra sensitive when people said I was “selling out” or “moving to the dark side.” Women like this — those who aren’t 100% transparent — give communications professionals a bad name, exactly what I’ve tried to avoid for years.

  14. Call me crazy, but I had no idea that it was potatoes making all these fat kids fat. I thought it was eating too much and moving too little.

    I do, however, see the link between sensationalistic headlines causing people to click.

      1. Great, what’s your phone number? My kids are having plain mashed potatoes today. A quick glance at next week’s menu shows me that baked potato is actually one of the entree choices for Monday. Or if you’d rather I not call, I can just post a screen shot of our online meal calendar.

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