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Do Batter-Coated Vegetables Count?

In a ruling that is not likely to be greeted with overwhelming joy in all quarters of the fruit and veggie camp, a federal judge in Texas ruled to allow batter-coated French fries to be considered fresh vegetables under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. Regulations under the law help to assure buyers of commodities that they are getting what they ordered, said a spokesman for the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. In the meantime, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Board is trying to get people to recognize that they need to eat their other veggies to get all the nutritional goodies they need.


Frozen fries are considered fresh by the court, apparently because they don't meet the standard necessary for them to be listed as processed, and adding batter to the fries does not change the classification. However, the judge did have the good sense to state that the ruling applies to commerce, not nutrition.


Some produce companies plan to appeal, stating that the law was intended to protect growers of fruits and vegetables, especially small farmers, and the ruling misconstrues the intent of the act. Who knows, it may come to a constitutional amendment!!