Washington Potato Commission Leader Goes On All-Potato Diet

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Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington Potato Commission, is eating nothing but potatoes, a little oil and herbs until Nov. 30. He calls his project “20 Potatoes A Day. Photo courtesy Washington Potato Commission. hide caption

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The executive director of the Washington Potato Commission is on an unusual campaign to protest a decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chris Voigt is on a diet that even he admits is a little crazy. He’s eating 20 potatoes a day for 60 days. Correspondent Anna King explains why.

Chris Voigt is eating nothing but potatoes to get the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s attention and the public's too. Voigt says recently the USDA excluded potatoes from its list of subsidized foods in low-income programs. And now the agency is deciding whether potatoes should be allowed in school lunches. Voigt's efforts have garnered the attention of Washington Governor Chris Gregoire who posted a video to his Facebook page.

SOUND: Chris Gregoire.

But Voigt says it’s harder than he thought to eat the roughly 7 pounds of spuds a day with nothing but a little oil, herbs or chicken bouillon.

Chris Voigt: “I think when I started this diet I underestimated how physically difficult it is to eat 20 potatoes. You’re feeling full all the time. I’m literally having to eat three potatoes every couple of hours. So it’s a challenge even to find the time to eat that much.”

Because of his diet Voigt won’t get any turkey on Thanksgiving. His protest ends on November 30. He hasn’t decided what his first meal after the all potato diet will be.

Copyright 2010 Northwest Public Radio

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