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U.S. Potato Board Aggressively Promoting Nutrition

The United States Potato Board is taking a stance to dispel what they say is a pretty big myth: that potatoes aren’t healthy.

Potatoes fuel our economy and fill our bellies. They’re even proudly emblazoned across our license plates.

Now, it turns out the very veggie that made Idaho famous is going through a bit of an image crisis.

“With the advent of some of these fad diets, we took a bad rap,” said potato farmer Carl Ball.

Diets like Atkins and South Beach condemn carbohydrates. There are about 26 grams of carbohydrates in a medium potato.

It’s up to people like Ball, who sits on the USPB and co-owns Ball Brothers Produce in Lewisville, to make potatoes seem a little more diet-friendly.

“They’re fat-free, they’re absolutely no cholesterol,? Ball said. A medium-sized potato supplies more than 45 percent of your daily Vitamin C, it’s high in potassium.”

Higher in potassium than a banana, in fact. At an average of 110 calories a pop, the USPB really wants people to know about it. That’s where “Linda” comes in.

“(Linda?s) married, with a family, and that’s who we’re targeting with all this,” Ball explained.

She’s not a real person, but Linda represents a modern American woman who wants a cheap, healthy meal for her family.

To reach Linda, the USPB aggressively advertises in magazines like “Better Homes and Gardens,” “Cooking Light” and “Woman?s Day.”

Ball experiences the effects of those ads first-hand, and he says they’re working.

“The perceptions have turned around and were a lot better than they were previously, so we feel it’s been effective,” he said.

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