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Pizza, Fries and Other Vegetables

Photo by earl53 for (CC Licensed)

My kids completely pigged out on vegetables at dinner tonight, loading up on nutritious, delicious extra cheese pizza.  What?  You don’t think of pizza as a vegetable?  Congress does.

After lobbying from food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry, and potato growers, Congress now wants to undo the changes the Obama Administration and the Department of Agriculture made earlier this year to cut unhealthy foods from school menus.

According to an Associated Press article, “The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year. These include limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line, putting new restrictions on sodium and boosting the use of whole grains. The legislation would block or delay all of those efforts.

The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that.”

The reason this matters is that the federal government mandates that government-subsidized school meals must contain a certain number of vegetable servings.  If pizza and french fries count as vegetable servings, then they take the place of other more healthful vegetables, that are… actually vegetables.

Check out the full article for more information.

Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.