First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed children from five schools across the country to join her yesterday for the fourth annual spring planting of the White House Kitchen Garden. During the day, the kids planted five varieties of seed potatoes: Sangre, Purple Sion, Mountain Rose, Red Thumb and Canola Russet.
During her remarks, the First Lady linked the spring planting to her Let’s Move! initiative, telling the children that “one of the reasons why we plant the garden is that it's an important way to have a good conversation about your health… [T]he garden is a good way to start the conversation, because vegetables and fruits are a big part of a healthy diet,” she said.
The National Potato Council (NPC) was pleased to join U.S. potato growers in welcoming the addition of potatoes to the White House Kitchen Garden.
John Keeling, NPC Executive VP and CEO said, “America’s potato growers are excited the First Lady is helping educate children that healthy eating includes nutrient-rich potatoes. Connecting kids with the food they eat is an important goal of the Let’s Move! initiative and we’re pleased that the White House kitchen garden is teaching children how seed potatoes grow into one their most loved vegetables.”
At a time when 90 percent of U.S. kids are not eating enough vegetables, the potato industry is encouraged that the First Lady is promoting the health benefits of vegetables like potatoes. One medium-sized potato (5.3 oz) with skin has more potassium than a banana (620 mg), nearly half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent), as much fiber as a serving of broccoli (13 percent of the daily value), and is naturally fat-, sodium-, and cholesterol-free.
“The wide variety of potatoes planted in the garden demonstrates that these are exciting times for consumers who are looking to eat more vegetables, including the new types of potatoes that share the produce aisle alongside old favorites,” concluded Keeling.
First Lady Michelle Obama joins students for the spring White House Kitchen Garden planting on the South Grounds, March 26, 2012. Helping Mrs. Obama are Girl Scout Troop 60325 in Fairport, N.Y.; and students from Stetson Elementary School in Chester, Pa.; Kate Mitchell Elementary School in Ames, Iowa; Sumner Elementary School, Greensboro, N.C.; and Bancroft Elementary and Tubman Elementary Schools in Washington, D.C. March 26, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)