A pizza is a vegetable: only in America…!

It’s very easy to sum things up in single words, phrases, images etc but it’s not always fair or accurate. However, this, for me, gets fairly close to the truth. Over in the land of the freely unhealthy…

‘A pizza is a vegetable.’

I was shocked, amazed, offended, saddened, but at the same time not completely surprised.

‘In a victory for the makers of frozen pizzas, tomato paste and French fries, Congress on Monday blocked rules proposed by the Agriculture Department that would have overhauled the nation’s school lunch program.

The proposed changes — the first in 15 years to the $11 billion school lunch program — were meant to reduce childhood obesity by adding more fruits and green vegetables to lunch menus, Agriculture Department officials said.’

The rules, proposed last January, would have cut the amount of potatoes served and would have changed the way schools received credit for serving vegetables by continuing to count tomato paste on a slice of pizza only if more than a quarter-cup of it was used. The rules would have also halved the amount of sodium in school meals over the next 10 years.

But late Monday, lawmakers drafting a House and Senate compromise for the agriculture spending bill blocked the department from using money to carry out any of the proposed rules.

‘Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told TPM that the only reason tomato paste is credited differently than other fruits and vegetables is because pizza makers want it that way. She’s not arguing for a half-cup of pizza sauce on each serving of pizza, but she says “it’s a shame that Congress is more interested in protecting (special interests) than protecting children’s health. … They should be helping USDA serve healthier school meals, not making it harder.”

What they’re saying is that a portion of pizza (with no vegetables on it) can be classified as half a serving of vegetables, due only to the two tablespoons of sugary tomato sauce which is on it. The larger half-cup of sauce is what would be needed to bring the pizza portion up to a half vegetable portion, if the sauce was classified on its own.

So, now Congress have kept the same rules as before, kids all over America are still getting part of their vegetable intake while eating their healthy cheese pizzas. I think i’ve found one of the reasons why the States are in trouble.

out

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