Ah, potatoes -- the perfect complement to a breakfast platter, fried fish, a juicy hamburger and every Thanksgiving meal. Who could resist their charm?

Not Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission. (Don't worry, we checked. It's a totally legit job.)

The man who's in charge of all things tater-related has made a vow to the citizens of Washington: He will chow down on 20 potatoes a day -- and nothing else -- from Oct. 1 through Nov. 29. (For the record, that's 1,200 spuds.)

Why, you ask? To raise awareness of the nutritional value of the dirty, lumpy, tuberous stem.

Continue reading to find out why Voigt is spud-obsessed and to watch his video, "How to Make Mashed Potatoes Like a Man."

Voigt's a few solid weeks into his zany potato diet, and he insists that he "feels great."

Says Voigt, "[I have] lots of energy, no weird side effects and am sleeping good at night ... The potatoes make me feel full all the time, and I'm actually struggling to eat enough of them."

Surprisingly, this potato lover hasn't gained any weight. In fact, he's lost 12 pounds since he began the diet three weeks ago. That's likely because he eats the potatoes plain, adding a bit of oil for cooking and herbs for flavor.

But despite the nutritional benefits and dropped poundage, there's no denying that 60 days of shoving only potatoes into your mouth can lead to what we call "Boring Diet Syndrome."

"Most of the time I'm OK," Voigt assures us. "But there are days where I am the star of my own little pity party. I'm not tired of the taste of potatoes, but I am tired of the cooked texture of the potato. No matter how you prepare them, it's always that soft, cooked texture in the middle."

That's forced Voigt to get creative. As you read this, he's pickling some potatoes in hopes of a crunchy meal.


The potato commissioner tells us that, even after he accomplishes this extraordinary feat, he still plans to eat more potatoes.

And as for his favorite way to cook 'em up?

"My favorite is basil mashed potatoes, but I really like a good old-fashioned baked potato," Voigt says. "I mix up some no-fat sour cream with some chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapenos and put it on top of my baked potato."

Stay up-to-date on Voigt's potato adventures by visiting his Web page or by joining the Facebook group (now 1,500-plus strong).