“You should have at least 5 servings of vegetables per day.
…But not potatoes. Fuck potatoes.”
–Every dietary guide. Ever.
Potatoes are vegetables in every botanical sense of the word. And yet, you ask most people and they’ll claim that they are a “starch,” all the while carrots, turnips, beets, and parsnips all get a free pass as vegetables without this carb shaming preamble. Actually, I’m kidding… nobody eats parsnips anymore.
This sort of tuber discrimination should have no place in a world where we attempt to provide equality to all plant-based nutrition. Starches are complex carbohydrates and are a required part of the human diet, and potatoes are as much vegetables as peppers, carrots, broccoli, and Trump supporters. For them to be singled out as “not a vegetable” is the blatant profiling of a plant who didn’t choose to be high in carbohydrates yet fits all of the other criteria. Meanwhile, his gardenmate carrot gets to hang out with all of the other vegetables despite coming from the same dirt of the earth. Turnip? Invited to the party. Beets? They’re always out getting pickled with their friends. Peas? Always together with carrots (and are also technically a fruit!) Potatoes? Nope. No friends in the garden or in the dietary world. Here, get deep fried and slathered with the crushed and sugared remains of your friend, tomato. Oh, and here’s a shit ton of media to make you feel bad about how unhealthy you apparently are.
Speaking of inequality, why is the onion getting a free pass here? Onions contain very little nutritional value, and yet there is no debate on its status as a vegetable. It comes out of the ground, just like a potato. It’s commonly consumed in a deep fried manner. It’s actually more palatable raw than potatoes. The only fathomable conclusion here is that it’s another egregious example of carb shaming, not to mention the assuredly expensive advertising spot the onion received when Shrek was released. And we won’t even talk about the green onion, which gets an even more lenient deal. “It ain’t easy being green” .. my ass.
I am not opposed to categorizing vegetables based on their merits, but right now, potato is the only vilified plant in the nutritional spectrum. Nobody in the garden whispers about how cucumber is actually a fruit despite his act and frequent appearances in salad and on veggie platters. In October, nary a soul thinks about how they are carving a scary face into the skin of a fruit while their friend Gord watches. Tomato has long been outed, but was grandfathered in to the club and suffers virtually no blowback from the revelation.
This entire issue was birthed by the anti-carb agenda of Big Farma in an effort to drive increased demand in other vegetables that provide a better profit margin, and work in coalition with other anti-carb initiatives like Atkins. There are other factors at work as well, but like most things, follow the money trail and you’ll get to the root of the cause.
After some research, I believe that I have uncovered the secret which everyone has colluded to keeping under wraps. The real truth in the matter here is that the FDA, Health Canada, and every nation’s equivalent is engaging in a worldwide smear campaign against potatoes because they saw what happened when they ignored bacon and it turned into a Katamari of epic proportions before it could be appropriately monetized. This is, of course, ignoring the fact that pork chops are a superior form of pig than bacon, but I digress.
Exhibiting foresight that greatly exceeds that of the average government entity, it was decided that the potato will be properly demonized to ensure proper kickbacks from Big Farma. Ultimately though, this is all a ruse to ensure that poutine never attains status as a part of a healthy diet. As a proud Canadian, this is a sin which cannot allow to pass silently. This is an affront to Canadians everywhere, and I encourage you to stand up for a vegetable that deserves better.
Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. They will be watching (because they have lots of eyes. Dad joke). Potatoes deserve to be treated equally in the venerable vegetable kingdom. Impostors such as avocado, zucchini, and squash are all fruits, yet maintain more nobility within the hierarchy than the humble potato. Where is the justice here?
So, to the tens of people who read this entry. Give potatoes the respect they deserve. Just because they are nutritionally different doesn’t make them any less of a plant.
If I need to drive this point home any harder… make carrot poutine and get back to me on the merits of potatoes.