Changing The Conversation Around Potatoes

The phrase ‘couch potato’ describes a person who spends little or no time exercising and a great deal of time watching television. Potatoes USA also feels it gives potatoes a bad rap, since research shows potatoes are an asset to a healthy lifestyle.

Potatoes USA, the national potato marketing association, is working to change the perception of potatoes. President and CEO Blair Richardson says the organization is focused on marketing potatoes domestically and overseas with research findings that potatoes are good for you… no matter how much TV you watch.

“It’s mostly about education. There’s been a lot of misperceptions about the health and nutrition related to potatoes,” Richardson says. “A potato is a wonderful, nutrient dense vegetable, and it’s America’s favorite vegetable.”

It doesn’t sound correct to say that a loaded baked potato is as nutritious as a salad. But Richardson argues, that that’s exactly the type of myth they’re setting out to debunk.

He compares a baked potato to a salad. You start out with a plain potato, and you add cheese, butter, sour cream and onion. You start out with a plain salad, and you add cheese, dressing, croutons and onion.

“By the time you weigh the two out, which one is the healthiest?”

But it’s not all about nutrition facts. Potatoes USA wants to change the perception that potatoes are what sits on the couch.

“What we’re really focused on, and have been for the past several years, is changing the conversation about potatoes,” Richardson says. “Pushing back on that old image of a couch potato idea… and really helping people understand that regardless of what your activity is… you need energy that’s going to fill your day.”