Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

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,”


Short Link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

66 Responses to “Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest”

  1. rawfulnews Says:

    At least maybe we’ll get another documentary out of Morgan Spurlock.

  2. Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest « NotionsCapital at Zapraszamy na pizzę farmerską! Says:

    […] Follow this link: Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest « NotionsCapital […]

  3. US Congress declare pizza "a vegetable". | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page Says:

    […] […]

  4. Niall Scott (@scottniall) Says:

    If pizza can, with the right lobbying I presume wine or heroin could be deemed vegetables.

  5. Len Goodman Says:

    What would Shanks have said?

  6. Anne Murray (@AnneMurray3) Says:


  7. Alexander (Ced) (@xarinatan) Says:

    Oh For god sake. This is why US governments don’t work out. Presidents says A, congres says B, citizens complain. And i’m dutch, i have nothing to do with it and it’s obvious to me.

  8. View From the Cumberlands » Blog Archive » Pizza as a vegetable Says:

    […] this one under the SMH category. God bless Congress and their ability to be persuaded. Tuesday, by act of Congress, pizza was declared a vegetable. The Spending Bill before our […]

  9. joshua Says:

    So if you eat pizza with vegetable toppings does that make it DOUBLE VEGETABLE??

  10. LivedinItaly Says:

    Where is Congress going to find the $$$ to pay the additional health costs for the future generations of children getting their vegetables from a cheese pizza?

  11. gene @boutdrz Says:

    does meatlovers pizza count as a veggie? what if it has white sauce? hmmmm…. i cry BS. just like katchup as a veggie….

  12. Sir Reginald Says:

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore

  13. Anne Says:

    Why not substitute pizza for salad in congressional cafeteria. That would be perfect justice!!

  14. The Policy Pâtisserie Says:

    […] some House Republicans decided that, for the sake of school lunches, pizza ought to be considered a vegetable. More precisely, what is being delcared a vegetable the pizza sauce that’s used on top of a lump […]

  15. Kurt Says:

    I think its important to include the bit from the AP article that “tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable”
    Not the pizza itself.
    It is still all ridiculous, but the specifics make it a little less ridiculous

  16. Vegetables: Thin Crust, or Deep Dish? - FileFront Gaming Forums Says:

    […] […]

  17. Marrgarita Boggiss Says:

    Please tell me this is an April Fool!!!!

  18. Joseph Twardzik Says:

    The comments and the mentality of most of these comments are LAUGHABLE. If you want ur little Johnny growing up on seaweed, bag him a lunch! Our kids aren’t getting fatter because of what they eat. No, it’s because you idiot parents LET them sit on they’re playstaion or computer or whatever instead of sending them outside to run around and play. FACT, I have 3 boys ages 12, 10, and 7. We have pizza EVERY FRIDAY, eat at Mcdonalds, eat beef, chicken pork whatever, and we have NO obesity in our family. No one has a bmi over 26% and I am 47, mine is the one 26% It is time to wake up and smell the coffee. They took the soda machines out of school, did it make a difference? NO. The key to life, no matter what it is, is MODERATION. You want to look like a skeleton, that’s you’re choice. But don’t push it on me or my family. Personally, I think women with that sucked in face, and weigh 100 lbs, look sickening. Example Kate Snow. She looks terrible, as does that Joy dietician that’s on the Today show. You people with agendas like this need therapy.

  19. More veggies please! | Primally Ever After Says:

    […] does this mean I can have pizza again? Thanks, Congress. Heh. « […]

  20. Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest « NotionsCapital | ImPublic Says:

    […] via Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest « NotionsCapital. […]

  21. jimmy Says:

    my brain just fell out

  22. Robyn Says:

    Joseph Twardzik whilst you’re right about moderation, that’s clearly the problem with you Americans. You don’t understand that word. I think it’s you that needs to “wake up and smell the coffee” considering America’s colossal obesity problem. Jamie Oliver went over to help you people and you laughed in his face when he tried to change school meals. You won’t be laughing when in a few years your country can’t handle the cost of care for all these people. Your debt problems are bad enough. Absolutely shameful.

  23. julietje Says:

    What the problem really is, is that our food industry is subject to capitalist forces, wherein producers put cheap production costs before quality. That money equals political power makes matters so much worse, because that means that corporations can easily fund armies of lawers to tackle every case made against them, and pay for lobbyists who very effectively win over congress. Check out the excellent documentary Food Inc for some thought provoking exposures (Trailer:

  24. BigPhatPastor Says:

    I’m hope as many comments are being forwarded to the politicians that made the decision. Also to he gentlemen that people here have an agenda, the agenda was obviously the politicians being prompted to do something that is clearly a falsehood in declaring pizza a vegetable. However, you are definitely right that today’s youth need more activity and that moderation is needed in the consumption of fast foods. But that in no way changes the outrigjt lunacy of what congress did.

  25. Marco Lizama (@Lesak_) Says:

    Meanwile in U.S

  26. Bernard Payne Says:

    Deep fried Mars bars in batter have long been a staple vegetable in Glasgow, Scotland. you sasenachs are sooo behind the times

  27. stifledgenius Says:

    I died a little inside when I heard about this.

  28. Pizza As Vegetable | Value Inherent Says:

    […] Capital posted a good list of coverage of the issue and Obama Foodorama has a nice summary of what the bill means and prior […]

  29. R Says:

    Fun way to attract a lot of attention to your blog by posting a falsification that is close to the truth. This is what MSNBC says:

    “The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. ”

    So yes tomato (technically a fruit but ok) paste would be counted as vegetables. Ok this is still very questionable but not nearly as laughable as this headline suggest.

  30. Mike Licht Says:

    R: If kids each chug a cup of tomato paste for lunch, you (and Congress) would be correct. But how much paste is on a slice of pizza, a tablespoon? Some “serving.”

  31. toycje Says:

    Proves again that everything can be bought, even common sense. Very, very sad…

  32. Tallulah Says:

    Being skinny doesn’t make you healthy, you ignorant arse…

    “We have pizza every day and we’re not fat!!!” Oh my God, seriously??!! America, no wonder you’re screwed.

  33. Deson Says:

    It’s ok, purple is a fruit

  34. amilksmugglersdaughter Says:

    My friend was told she needed a doctors note for her daughter so she wouldn’t have to have a “dairy” item which is either skim-milk, strawberry milk, chocolate milk, or a sugared up yogurt. If I were a kid, I wouldn’t want to have “dairy” either. It’s just high fructose corn syrup in watered down cow juice. C’mon now. maybe next time high fructose corn syrup will count as the veggie. Gross.

  35. Will Says:

    FACT – Joseph Twardizik’s comment is LAUGHABLE because he’s BLIND to the real issue here and would rather RANT about his prejudices and self righteousness. This case is more like pushing PIZZA on EVERYONE ELSE’s children but he can’t see that because everything is about HIM. Just because YOU eat pizza every week does NOT mean that it’s a vegetable and even if it’s just the sauce, that’s not a decision made because of HEALTH or NUTRITION but instead because of LOBBYING and PRIVATE INTEREST. Framing everything in terms of your personal liberty is paranoid and completely unnecessary as NO ONE is saying YOU can’t feed YOUR kids pizza or ANYTHING else.

    Instead one of your five a day will be tomato sauce. FYI the Italians don’t count pizza or even pasta sauce as a vegetable unless it’s you know, FILLED WITH VEGETABLES.

  36. Nishant Kaushik Says:

    Nicely written !!!

  37. Melinda Says:

    To be fair, as my five year pointed out, pizza should actually be a fruit, since tomatoes are technically not vegetables.

  38. School Lunch Program: Bought and Sold Brazen Kitchen Says:

    […] HUffington Post: Struggling Families Depend More on School Lunches GOOD Magazine: Do Healthier School Lunches Curb Bad Behavior? USA Today: Congress Pushes Back on Healthier School Lunches MSNBC: Pizza as Vegetable? Congress Says Yes Notions Capital: “Is Pizza a Vegetable? In School Lunches, Congress Says Yes,” Michele McNeil […]

  39. Roo Says:

    Personal responsibility people!!! You are responsible for what you eat. Companies are trying to make money, all you need to do is say no I won’t buy your product.

  40. Pizza, the Vegetable? | Creative Stockholm Syndrome Says:

    […] Gothamist and Notions Capital. Like us on facebook! This entry was posted in Food, Politics by St. Shley. Bookmark the […]

  41. Erin Armstrong Bishop Says:

    Congratulations, American Frozen Food Institute. You are evil and should be destroyed. Sleep tight.

  42. where can i find some pizza seeds? Says:

    […] them too much. And so they teamed up with those big food producing companies, and lobbied. From NotionsCapital:The American Frozen Food Institute spent over $5 million convincing Congress to protect their juicy […]

  43. Pizza Declared Vegetable by US Congress Says:

    […] […]

  44. Austinibus Says:

    This makes complete sense that the government thinks that pizza is vegetables. They’re delusional biased thinking that has torn apart the country is the only thing that could make such a thing seem plausible. If a hammer can cost $10k on government budget, why can’t pizza be vegetables? They just want one thing to be another so they wave a magic wand and poof, they benefit and everyone else is harmed. Nice going government.

  45. windysdays Says:

    Wait ..isn’t Tomatoes a fruit?

  46. Nicole Says:

    Pepperoni Is Not a Vegetable (and neither is pizza):

    This is so, so disappointing.

  47. Mike Licht Says:


    By popular demand, pizza seeds.

    Short link:

  48. Republicans want children to eat unhealthy food « Petunias Says:

    […] Well, they do if the industry gives them lots of money. […]

  49. Olive Says:

    @ Joseph Twardzik :
    Just because your children aren’t obese doesn’t mean they’re not unhealthy. Eating the diet you just described is not only unhealthy but not everyone can afford to get their kids Mcdonalds, beef, chicken etc and they rely on government funded lunches, “free lunch” to feed their children at school. Yes, exercise is good and necessary but your health doesn’t just require exercise- you need to eat healthy too! Also, not everyone can consume meat-some people can’t digest it! When I went to school I was very disappointed at what was being offered- I have severe IBS and I was also a vegetarian at the time. I can’t consume the standard lunches of pizza, burgers, tacos, hotdogs and french fries that was being offered. I was lucky enough, however, to have parents that could finance my lunch and I could bring my own BUT NOT EVERYONE has that luxury. It’s great that your kids exercise but exercise isn’t everything. And not everyone is lucky enough to live like my family or yours. Just some “food” for thought. 🙂

  50. Paul in Minneapolis Says:

    Congress is a vegetable.

  51. not your forefather’s ketchup. | Food Me Once Says:

    […] shouldn’t be involved in telling kids how to eat, why did the American Frozen Food Institute spend $5 million to influence Congress on these rules? I would think that greasing the palms of your local elected official would get them to work for […]

  52. mjcinti Says:

    Hopefully Monsanto can genetically engineer those seeds to contain a dose of insulin and a hypodermic needle too

  53. links: vegetable pizza, state of birds, and more | Garden Info Says:

    […] of the seed catalogs that have arrived here, but Congress in its infinite wisdom has this week declared pizza a vegetable. Our nation’s children don’t have a chance with such genius at work (nor, I fear, do we […]

  54. chrissyvareyonchatterbox Says:

    As a Brit I was amazed by this blog and initially thought it was a hoax (I am still unconvinced it is not) In this day and age we are all aware of what a healthy diet is and are more than capable of choosing whether to eat healthily or not. Whether pizza is to be classed as a vegtable purely on the basis of its tomato paste topping is besides the point. What is worrying is that a large food company can influence a governmental decision by the use of ‘backhanders’ (something that would lead to lengthy inquiries, serious questions in the House of Commons and ultimate ‘resignations’ here in the UK.) Also, if as stated, school meals consist solely of pizzas, hot dogs, burgers, chips (french fries) and the like with no healthy alternative then something is very wrong with what ever government department that is responsible for childrens health in the US. In answer to the Scot who bragged about ‘deep fat fryed Mars Bars’ I feel I should point out that Scotland has one of the highest records for heart problems in Europe.

  55. “Pizza is a vegetable”, says US Congress » Full Fat Nutrition Says:

    […] Read more  Posted by doc0c at 8:46 AM […]

  56. Pizza = Vegetable? | Says:

    […] Via: […]

  57. Fernando Says:

    What can we expect from nutritional morons?
    Money has always been above the welfare of our citizens!

  58. Pizza = Légume « journal de la geekette Says:

    […] notionscapital […]

  59. yunalea Says:

  60. Gurv Says:

    From “vegetabilizing” a Pizza thru … so many impressive things 😉 God bless America for being the place where anything is possible … that we would die seeing in our own place.

  61. U.S. Congress Declares Pizza a Vegtable! - Page 3 Says:

    […] Re: U.S. Congress Declares Pizza a Vegtable! Originally Posted by Swatze82 I would love a source for this and a tomato still hasn't been determined a fruit or a vegetable. This isn't the exact one, but it's close enough […]

  62. Kirk Says:

    For the benefit of our politicians in congress, I have listed the dictionary definition of vegetable (below).

    2012 is near and we will all have a chance to elect some ‘educated chefs’ to replace our ‘veggies’ in congress. (LOL)

    veg·e·ta·ble (vjt-bl, vj-t-)
    a. A plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.
    b. The edible part of such a plant.
    c. A member of the vegetable kingdom; a plant.
    2. Offensive Slang One who is severely impaired mentally and physically, as by brain injury or disease.
    3. One who is regarded as dull, passive, or unresponsive.

  63. Friday’s Food for Thought – Jan. 27 | Green Your Plate Says:

    […] all of the “pizza is a vegetable” brouhaha this fall, Michelle Obama announced on Wednesday the updated USDA guidelines for […]

  64. Bob Says:

    America never fails to embarass itself, and be hilarious in the process :”D Good luck you fat people.

  65. The New Vegetable | NPS Image Says:

    […] is REPORTED HERE that “by act of Congress, pizza was declared a vegetable. The Spending Bill before our […]

  66. NotionsCapital: 2012 in Review « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] hard-hitting think piece, ”Oreo Cookie Centennial.” Best ever? 48,132 views of “Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest“ on November 17, 2011. Total views since August 2007: […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: