Pizza As Vegetable

Many outlets have been talking about the recent decision by Congress to roll back the Obama administration’s efforts to improve nutritional standards for school lunches. The finalized version of the appropriations bill delays the increase of whole grains, regulation of sodium, allows french fries to be served every day as the vegetable of choice, and, most buzzed about, reinstates tomato paste on frozen pizza as a vegetable.

This decision continues to allow pizza to be served as almost a complete lunch: bread serving (crust), protein (cheese), vegetable (tomato sauce). Throw in a milk (including flavored) and you’ve got a complete reimbursable meal.

Notions Capital posted a good list of coverage of the issue and Obama Foodorama has a nice summary of what the bill means and prior related moves that Congress made.

Most of the linked sources have covered this in depth so I won’t spend much time going into it, but it is certainly a troubling decision and a step backward from much of the progress that has been made in school systems around the country. It has much larger implications for upcoming legislation, notably the Farm Bill parts of which may be “secretly” passed  via the Super Committee. It is clear that the Agribusiness and big food lobbies still wield tremendous power and their dollars will continue to dictate the way many Americans eat.

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