Tuesday, by act of Congress, pizza was declared a vegetable. The Spending Bill before our elected officials contained an Agriculture Department provision recognizing that school kids are dangerously obese, and that subsidizing school lunches of frozen pizza and french fries is unwise and unhealthy. The Congressional response: a slice of pizza = a serving of vegetables.
The American Frozen Food Institute spent over $5 million convincing Congress to protect their juicy $11 billion annual school lunch harvest from the pestilence of nutritional common sense, and they prevailed. Result: kids will still eat government-subsidized carbs, fat, and salt, and Big Food will get fatter, too.
In other farm news, Monsanto announced that Roundup-Ready Pizza Seeds will be available in time for spring planting, and February pizza crop futures rose at the Chicago Board of Trade after predictions of increased Super Bowl party demand.
“Is Pizza a Vegetable? In School Lunches, Congress Says Yes,” Michele McNeil, Education Week blog
“Pizza Counts as a Vegetable? How the Spending Bill in Congress Could Unravel Progress on School Nutrition,” Mark Bishop, Healthy Schools Campaign
“Retired Generals and Admirals Tell Congress: Just Say No to Pizza as a Vegetable in School Lunches” (press release)
“Congressional Magicians Attempt To Transform Pizza Into A Vegetable,” Doug Berry, Jezebel
“Potato politics, with a pizza side,” David Rogers, Politico
“Everyone’s Favorite Vegetable, Frozen Pizza,” Tom Philpott, Mother Jones
“Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” Health.gov
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