Blog: Chris Brook-CarterA 60-day mash-up

Chris Brook-Carter | 29 November 2010

In these days of health-conscious consumers and a vociferous obesity lobby, brand owners working in a huge number of sectors have had to defend their products from claims they are the root of all health evils. Defend them they do though, often very vocally, some more convincingly than others.

I am sure there are few marketing managers, CEOs or brand directors, however, that would go as far as to eat nothing but the products they are selling for 60 days on the trot.

But this is what Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, has been doing in an effort to counter the idea that potatoes are unhealthy and instead are a good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C. I have to say, I am a little surprised that the noble spud needs to defend itself like this, but the fightback by this supporter has been an Herculean effort.

Voigt has eaten nothing but 20 potatoes a day since 1 October. There been some variety - baked, chipped, boiled, steamed, mashed, fried - but otherwise, he hasn't even added cheese or milk to his mash.

He hasn't gone as far as to recommend this as a diet for anyone. He has, however, been keen to shout about the health benefits of his spud diet. A mid-way "weigh-in" returned these results:

Beginning weight: 197 Midpoint weight: 189
Beginning blood glucose: 104 Midpoint blood glucose: 92
Beginning cholesterol: 214 Midpoint cholesterol: 162

With good justification, the stunt has also seemingly garnered an impressive amount of column inches across the globe. "It's been crazy," Voigt said, "and totally unexpected. It's not like potatoes are some exotic fruit or vegetable."


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