Potatoes retain USDA classification as vegetable, not grain

A bipartisan effort in the U.S. Senate has resulted in the USDA retaining its classification of the humble potato as a vegetable under Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

A letter written by Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine “opposing any reclassification of a potato as a grain instead of a vegetable” is responsible for the spud keeping its title.

Per a press release from the office of Sen. Susan Collins, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack called personally to give the news Tuesday.

Sen. Collins shared in her press release, “The reclassification of potatoes would have sent a false message to the public that the USDA believes that potatoes are not healthy.”


Senator Bennet, Senator Collins, potatoes as vegetables

A bipartisan push led by Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democrat Senator Michael Bennet retained the USDA classification of potatoes as vegetables. (Getty Images)

Collins continued, “The fact is, when prepared properly, the potato is a wonderfully nutritious food that is affordable, easy to transport, has a long storage life, and can be used in a wide array of recipes.”

Sen. Collins shared with Fox News Digital her favorite way to prepare potatoes.

“A baked stuffed Maine potato with cheddar cheese on the top. Favorite variety is the Caribou Russet,” she said.

The Mayo Clinic sings the praises of the tuber, citing that potatoes contain high levels of vitamin C, B6 and no sodium. Potatoes come to 145 calories per serving and are naturally fat-free.

Sen. Collins added in her release, “I am pleased Secretary Vilsack called me personally to tell me that the USDA has no intention of reclassifying potatoes and recognizes that potatoes are, in fact, a vegetable.” 


“I urge the DHHS to follow the USDA’s lead and recognize the same reality.”

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, or DGAs, are decided by both the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

A pot of peeled, boiled white potatoes

For health-conscious consumers, nutritionists recommend boiling, steaming or baking potatoes. (iStock)

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