Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Who wants to make a bet?

Here's the headline for the story--Batter-Coated Fries OK'd As Vegetable--already misleading to begin with, and then the explanation on down in the text:

By IRA DREYFUSS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Batter-coated french fries are a fresh vegetable, according to the Agriculture Department, which has a federal judge's ruling to back it up.

But the department said Tuesday that the classification applies only to rules of commerce, not nutrition, and it doesn't consider an order of fries the same as an apple in school lunches.

The ruling last week by federal District Judge Richard Schell in Beaumont, Texas, allowed batter-coated french fries to be considered fresh vegetables under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. Most other frozen fries had been on the list since 1996.

Regulations under the law help to assure buyers of commodities such as french fries that they are getting what they ordered, said George Chartier, a spokesman for the department's Agricultural Marketing Service. Frozen fries are fresh simply because they don't meet the standard necessary for them to be listed as processed, and adding batter to the fries does not change the classification, he said. [...]

Even though it has nothing to do with school lunches, and in fact the article states that explicitly, how long do you think it's going to be before certain people start claiming--loudly--that it's just another example of heartless conservatives trying to foist breaded spuds off onto the poor, unsuspecting children of our land, who (if their teachers had actually bothered to teach them to read the word "vegetable"), will be grievously deceived by this blatant attempt to pander to Big Tuber interests?

I predict such mindless hysteria will begin in approximately ten minutes.

UPDATE: Okay, so I was wrong. I just found this article--Calling fries fresh veggies half-baked, critics argue--was posted to the Chicago Tribune this morning at 9:40, approximately an hour before the story I linked to.

Endangering our kids?
"The french-fry rule calls to mind the USDA's attempt in 1981 to classify ketchup and pickle relish as vegetables, an idea that was dropped amid public protests."

"While lumping french fries and fresh vegetables in the same sentence might horrify some nutritionists, the changes had more to do with money than healthy eating."

Big Tuber?
"The implications of the change are potentially huge for the french-fry industry, which includes such food giants as J.R. Simplot, Lamb Weston and Ore-Ida."


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