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BOISE -- Against the backdrop of several years devoted to defending potatoes from various anti-carb attacks, the Idaho Potato Commission believes the new USDA food guidance system will help bolster its message that the fiber-rich tuber is part of a balanced diet.
"It's time for people to understand that carbohydrates are the best fuel for working muscles and they come in many forms, including potatoes," said Frank Muir, IPC's president and c.e.o. "The new guidance system, which emphasizes, among other things, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables along with regular physical activity, are based on common sense and will contribute to America's overall wellness."
IPC healthy lifestyle spokesperson Denise Austin was present at the USDA's unveiling ceremonies for MyPyramid, the new symbol of the interactive blueprint. Introduced by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Austin introduced the exercise component of the guidelines, which is a new element in the updated pyramid.
On a parallel path, Austin is currently starring in an IPC commercial airing nationally. In the ad, Austin says, "A healthy diet is a matter of balance, so the idea of eliminating an entire major food group, like carbohydrates, just doesn't hold up," as she knocks down a cube food pyramid. "The fact is complex carbohydrates are a critical source of energy."
The commercial is one facet of a multi-tiered marketing and public relations campaign initiated by the IPC to promote the healthful properties of the Idaho Potato.
"Our biggest job right now is to tell the nutritional story about Idaho Potatoes," said Muir. "We understand that America is waging a fierce weight battle, but there is no logical reason to target food products that are so naturally good for you. Active healthy people need carbohydrates to fuel their working muscles, it's that simple."
Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don't realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the "Grown In Idaho" seal. Both Idaho Potatoes and the Grown in Idaho seal are federally registered certification marks that belong to the IPC and denote to consumers that they are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.