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Great Big Idaho Potato Truck hits the road with health message for women

The head-turning, jaw-dropping Great Big Idaho Potato Truck is back on the road for its third consecutive cross-country tour with a new message for women: Take care of your heart.

The five-month 2014 Big Idaho Potato Truck Tour kicked off in Boise, ID, with waves, cheers and hugs from the students of Riverside Elementary School and salutes from soldiers at the Air Force Base in Mountain Home.

In 2011, fresh Idaho potatoes were certified by the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Food Certification Program by meeting the program's nutrition requirements and they now bear the highly recognized and respected Heart-Check mark on the packaging.

This recognition is profoundly helpful in reminding consumers that Idaho potatoes can be a part of their everyday diet. Knowing that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women (mothers, sisters, daughters, friends) and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined, it's more important than ever that women understand the role both diet and exercise play in achieving a healthy lifestyle.

"The Idaho Potato Commission's support of the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement provides another new and exciting way we can remind consumers, especially women, of the nutritional benefits Idaho potatoes offer," Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a press release. "In addition to a new charity beneficiary, we've rebranded the truck so it showcases fresh Idaho potatoes prepared in various ways and creatively communicates the potato's nutritional benefits."

"The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement is grateful to the Idaho Potato Commission for supporting us in our fight against heart disease in women," Bernie Dennis, chairman of the American Heart Association national board of directors, added in the press release. "This is an exciting opportunity for the Idaho Potato Commission to help educate consumers on ways they can prevent heart disease through diet and exercise."

In 2014, the truck will visit 26 states and travel close to 19,000 miles during a five-month period. The truck and its seasoned traveling Tater Team will stop at high traffic events like the Kentucky Derby, the Art Car Parade and Festival in Houston and the 55th World Lumberjack Competition in Hayward, WI. In between events, the truck will visit key retailers and foodservice operators, and local places of interest it finds along the way.