A petition is being put to Downing Street asking for such recognition amid what the industry body believes is widespread confusion about the health benefits of the spud. Are the potato people on to something, or simply trying to bamboozle the health-conscious with a new but meaningless name?
The noughties were not a good decade for the potato. Spurned by dieters on low-carbohydrate regimens such as Atkins, the vegetable also appeared to score poorly on the Glycaemic Index (GI) - which measures how quickly foods are broken down. The slower, the better - and the potato was quick. And then it seemed it was no longer a vegetable at all, passed over by the Department of Health when it compiled its list of "five-a-day". In similar programmes in other countries, the potato was not overlooked. In the US the potato earned a place on the "More Matters" campaign. Potatoes were instead classified in the UK as a "starchy food" - not to be ignored, but not one we needed encouragement to eat.
It seemed a far-cry from the years of World War II when government posters asked: "Why stop at serving them once a day? Have them twice, or even three times, for breakfast, dinner and supper". Potatoes, the public were told, would keep you warm and guard against infection.