ALBANY -- Apparently, no one wants to offend onions or sweet corn.
A day after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo refrained from taking sides in the new burning debate at the Capitol -- should the onion or sweet corn become the state's official vegetable -- the New York Farm Bureau is out today saying it is staying neutral in the raging controversy.
"Picking an official vegetable is a tough choice,'' said Farm Bureau President Dean Norton, adding his group is now seeking a "consensus'' from its membership. Norton even floated a third possibility: maybe a dark horse vegetable will emerge to pass the onion and corn.
Indeed, the Farm Bureau pointed out that onions and sweet corn may have their prominent place in New York agriculture, the biggest crop is cabbage. Yes, cabbage, all $101 million heads of them that were produced in 2007.
The onion versus corn fight began this week when a senator from Rockland County, David Carlucci, introduced the onion-for-official-vegetable bill while Finger Lakes area senator Michael Nozzolio went for sweet corn in his separate bill.
"I don't have a candidate yet in the race,'' Cuomo joked Wednesday when asked to select his winner.
If you've really nothing else to do, head over to www.facebook.com/NYFarmBureau to cast your vote. By mid afternoon, the powerful sweet corn lobby had a slight lead over the onion forces.
Put Sen. Tim Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat, in the corn column. His office this afternoon took the time to put out a press release making clear that he stands with the corn farmers in his district. "It's not that I don't like onions. I just believe we should celebrate our sweet corn,'' Kennedy said.
-- Tom Precious