Congress: pizza is a vegetable when it is fed to children

Discuss

111 Responses to “Congress: pizza is a vegetable when it is fed to children”

  1. Ambiguity says:

    I eat pizza on occasion, but that doesn’t really change the fact that Congress is kind of, well, you know… dense.

    That is all.

  2. My waistline would disagree with their assertion.

  3. Graysmith says:

    I think the U.S. can now officially be declared the laughing stock of the world.

  4. Robert Menes says:

    Last I checked, pizza is bread, with sauce made from *berries* and dairy on top of that.

    Welcome to the United States of HERP DERP.

  5. awjt says:

    Soon now, sugar will be a vegetable. Because, you know, it’s from beets or cane, which are vegetables.

    BTW, cows are a vegetable, because they eat grass, which is a vegetable.  OH, one more thing, milk is a vegetable.

  6. 10xor01 says:

    And if you pour ketchup on your pizza, it becomes two vegetables!

  7. ComradeQuestions says:

    “This is a dangerous precedent to set and not good public policy.”

    I think that will be the tagline for the movie made about this Congress.

    • scav says:

      I saw that movie I think.  “Idiocracy” I think it was called.

      Not even fucking kidding.  If you want to lower the average intelligence of your population long-term, you can’t do much better than lower the quality of childhood nutrition.

  8. Cicada Mania says:

    Apparently old school vegetables… the ones that still resemble the plant they came from… were not providing American’s children with enough obesity and diabetes, so they had to add discs of greasy processed carbs to the list. Kudos!

  9. Cowicide says:

    Wait a second… is Herman Cain behind this?

  10. Bryan Castañeda says:

    Can someone please explain to me why the federal government should have ANYTHING to do with school lunches? Or why we still have a Department of Agriculture?

    • EvilSpirit says:

      Yeah! After all, ever since we licked the problem of childhood hunger in the US, there’s absolutely no need for the National School Lunch Act, amiright?

    • Mike MacKenzie says:

      When was the last time we had a famine in the US?

    • davidasposted says:

       President Truman authorized the program in 1946 to make use of food surpluses at that time. It was later acknowledged in the 1966 Child Nutrition Act that many children went to school hungry because their families were poor, and that long-term hunger not only slows the development of adolescent brains, but also hinders a child’s ability to focus on his or her lessons at school. Hunger is distracting, FYI.

      Hence, the school lunch program. Given that a majority of the Republican-controlled Congress would like to abolish the public education system as a whole I am not surprised that they have made a mockery of the program. Those lazy kids should just get jobs to support themselves and stop expecting handouts from the society that will soon rely on them exclusively for labor, taxes, etc., amirite?

      /facepalm

    • Kevin Carter says:

      Because otherwise millions of kids would go without food…

  11. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    I’ll be in a school cafeteria for lunch time in about an hour.  Kids love pizza and eat a ton of it.  If it was healthy pizza that would be great, but in this case it’s locally produced take-out stuff with cheese or cheese/pepperoni and not real great.  Some kids bring healthy meals prepared at home, and all would probably be better off with food that their parents selected.  That said, if I was that parent I’d probably be fine with delegating five meals a week to the nutritionists at Sodexo who run the cafeteria.  And if it’s pizza, oh well.  They’re fed.

  12. Rob O'Daniel says:

    I’ll consent to feeding my child this crap as soon as I see Congressmen eating it too. Effing hypocrits! They wouldn’t allow this filth to be fed to their own grandchildren. Or maybe the heartless bastards would…

    Bad enough that the school provided breakfast is nutritionally-void crap like mini-donuts and Pop-Tarts. (Yes, I provide my son a solid breakfast at home, but when the rest of his Kindergarten classmates are gobbling up the offered breakfast, he will too.)

    May these opportunistic scumbags all rot in Hell – and the sooner, the better!

    • Mike MacKenzie says:

      What makes you think the average congresscritter doesn’t eat crap?  Their diet may be better made crap than what we are used to, but it probably is loaded with saturated fat, salt, and too many calories.

      I think you’ll find that government leaders are naturally healthier than the average. If you family tends to die young, the odds are against it accumulating wealth, and elected positions have absolute or de-facto biases in favor of old people. The people who do well in dynasties can eat more fat, smoke more tobacco, and drink more alcohol without ill effect than “normal” people.

  13. DFBM says:

    said the 1% with no brain.

    • MB44 says:

      Oh they have plenty of brains, just no morals and ethics. This legislation was just written and paid for by the businesses that will benefit from it, just like all of the US legislation is. To say that these people (Congress) are doing these kinds of things out of stupidity is undercutting how truly corrupt and evil they really are. 

  14. Erik Maresjo says:

    I would say write your congressman but the spending bill passed an hour ago :(

  15. atimoshenko says:

    Can we also please make pop tarts a fruit? In any case, I’m off to water my pizza tree…

  16. Congress? Can we track down who sponsored the legislation? Since this is an attempt to bypass rules set by the Obama administration, I’m guessing they have an “R” next to their name. Honestly so tired of blaming “Congress” when one party seems to be the worst offender by far in almost every instance of corporate corruption.

    • huskerdont says:

      Thank god somebody said it. The scaredy-cat media always just says “congress” because they’re afraid of being seen as biased,  but I’d not expect this site to fall into that trap.

    • Mike MacKenzie says:

      Unfortunately, this probably has some democratic sponsorship as well.   The Fried Potato is a vegetable legislation had bi-partisan support.

  17. Felton / Moderator says:

    Funny, I’ve always thought of Congress as a bunch of vegetables.

  18. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    It’s an election year.  Big Ag has lots of money to spend on influencing elections.  Farm states have disproportionate influence on elections.  Expect the govt. to try to allow HFCS to be called ‘corn sugar’ next.  It’ll happen.

  19. Hanglyman says:

    Um… just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s actually a vegetable, Congressman.

  20. Rob O'Daniel says:

    Good Lord, shouldn’t our government be helping parents to succeed? Instead, they do everything possible to set us up for failure.

    Maybe Michelle Obama needs to get out of her garden and more involved in what’ real American kids are eating. I’ll bet her girls have never consumed the type of fare routinely served at your average school.

    I’d like to see President Obama eat the crap that Congress believes is food fit for our children!

    • Mike MacKenzie says:

      Why?   The executive branch is the one trying to tighten the rules.  It’s the legislative branch that’s trying to tie the hands of the USDA into declaring pizza sauce to be nutritious.

      Michelle O only has the bully pulpit to promote healthy ideas.  She can serve as an example, but why should her family suffer if people won’t follow?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’d like to see President Obama eat the crap that Congress believes is food fit for our children!

      You do understand that Michelle Obama has been working toward healthier school food?  And that it’s traditional for Republican Congresses to try to kill the projects of Democratic First Ladies?

  21. chgoliz says:

    Policy decisions overriding science-based fact?  Not exactly news in the US…..

  22. Talia says:

    From the AP article.. “… ensuring that students may continue to enjoy healthy meals such as pizza and pasta,” said Kraig Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute.”

    How can anyone say something like that with a straight face?  What the hell??

  23. You_Sir_Cannot says:

    Despite the hyperbolic headlines the fact is that we’re talking about Pizza SAUCE continuing to be designated as a vegetable for nutritional needs.

    Nothing has changed here.

    A more balanced article on this can be read here: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/does-pizza-deserve-to-be-a-vegetable.php

    • chgoliz says:

      Nothing has changed here? You might want to read the article you linked to.

      Here’s a healthy chunk of it:

      “The scant serving of tomato paste in school lunch pizza does, however, count as one half-cup serving of vegetables, thanks to the final version of the House-Senate agriculture spending bill.
      The USDA was hoping to change that, though. Under a proposed rule, a vegetable serving of tomato paste would have to be a whole one half-cup serving, not two tablespoons, as it is now.
      But, opponents of the rule argued, that would render a slice of pizza inedible. “It would basically be swimming in tomato sauce,” said Corey Henry, vice president of communications at the American Frozen Food Institute. “No school kid in his right mind would want to eat that.”
      Rightfully so. Henry told TPM that tomato paste is a “nutritiously dense” food. “It’s a mischaracterization to say there’s no nutritional value in that slice of pizza,” Henry said, adding that the USDA’s efforts essentially were trying to rid school lunches of pizza.
      So let’s accept that tomato paste is a nutritious food. Few would disagree. But tomato paste and pizza sauce are not one and the same. How much tomato paste is in pizza sauce, for instance, TPM asked. It can be up to 50 percent of the sauce, depending on its thickness, Henry said. With roughly two to three tablespoons of sauce on each serving of pizza, that’s about 2 teaspoons of actual tomato paste in each serving. But the current logic is that the added water creates more of the actual vegetable.
      And tomato paste is the only fruit or vegetable puree that is credited in this way, USDA spokesman Aaron Lavallee told TPM.”

      • You_Sir_Cannot says:

        “Tomato sauce is currently counted as a vegetable, but the USDA back in January tried to change the rules — the first change in 15 years to the $11 billion school-lunch program.

        The USDA wanted to require tomato paste and puree be credited as a vegetable based on the actual volume that is served. So – in a change from current standards – the scant layer of sauce served on a slice of pizza wouldn’t be classified as a vegetable. The USDA wanted a half-cup of tomato paste or more to be counted as a vegetable. “

    • Rob O'Daniel says:

      That reddish sludge they smear stingily on kids’ frozen pizzas can hardly be considered tomato-based. It’s probably more oil, sugar, and artificial thickeners than anything else.

  24. blueelm says:

    But remember, fat kids are only fat because they have poor self control. It has absolutely nothing to do with living in a country where idiocy is considered a virtue and pizza a vegetable. 

  25. blueelm says:

    Yeah, pizza was always on the menu in my school. It was popular. Mostly because the other option was often something like potted meat with a greasy deep fried taco shell that smelled about two weeks old. We mostly ate chex mix and other sundries  out of the machines because it was healthier. Then people lobbied to take the machines away :/ 

    200 cal of cheetos vs 800 cal on nasty tasting taco “salad” with extra pig fat and some how the cheetos are the bad guys.Kids at my school tried to get a salad bar, but it didn’t work. You know society is fucked up regarding food when you wait to get off-campus lunch in HS so you can walk across the street and get a healthier meal at Taco Bell for 99 cents instead of paying 5 buck for a massive load of lard and edible wax. Yeah I know, packed lunches, packed lunches.  Some times other people’s lives just don’t conform to your expectations. Oh the frustration of it all.

    • Mike MacKenzie says:

      Don’t diss the Bell.   If you choose right, you can get the healthiest fast-food meal there.  (It’s not healthy per se., but if you eat a good breakfast and dinner, a Taco Bell lunch won’t break you.   McD’s or BK, I’m not so sure.)

  26. bja009 says:

    Everyone over 16: Appropriately angry over congressional imbecility.

    Everyone under 16: HELLS YEAH PIZZA ALL THE TIME

  27. blueelm says:

    Have you never met a teenaged girl who worries she is obese at 140 lbs?

  28. doomcake says:

    I miss school lunch pizza’s. Don’t get me wrong- this legislation is a crock, but damn those pizza’s were the highlight of the menu

  29. ill lich says:

    So the frozen pizza, potato and salt industries are placated.  Plus we get the bonus of the health care industry reaping the rewards of another generation of fat unhealthy kids.   AND reality TV programs like NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” will have a never ending pool of contestants.  Everybody wins!  Well, everyone except for the kids.

    Parent: “Eat your vegetables!”  (points at pizza slice.)

  30. blueelm says:

    Meh… I discovered slim fast/ensure products and took to eating them for lunch.

  31. thebelgianpanda says:

    Under this logic, beer is a vegetable.  A delicious, wonderful vegetable.

  32. Andrew Singleton says:

    What… the hell?

    I’m with everyone else here citing Congress needing to live off the means they’re legestlating as good nutrition/healthcare/bankingetc. All public servants should have to live on the equivilant of government assisted living while in office.

    That wouldn’t work either. They’d just bankcroll food under business expenses since you can’t have potted meat and ramen noodles for dinner when you’re wining and dining the interest groups.

  33. bruckelsprout says:

     These guys are experts at moving the bar.

  34. jayson says:

    I’m genuinely amazed that not a single reporter has sought out James Watt for comment on this story.

    How short our memories are…

  35. Steve James says:

    And Americans wonder why the rest of the world laughs at them.
    Firstly, your need to teach your kids what makes them so Fat
    Secondly, someone needs to tell Americans that tomatos are fruit, not vegetable.

    • chgoliz says:

      Intelligence is knowing that tomatoes are fruit.
      Wisdom is knowing not to put them in a fruit salad.

      (author unknown)

      • Ambiguity says:

        Intelligence is knowing that tomatoes are fruit.
        Wisdom is knowing not to put them in a fruit salad.

        (author unknown)

        And Common Sense is knowing to avoid the whole fruit/vegetable pedantry altogether.

        I learned to get over a lot of that way back in 2000, when I figure out “you know, it doesn’t really matter if this is the first year of the millennium or not….”

    • EvilSpirit says:

      If we were talking about botany, tomatoes would be a fruit. But “vegetable” is a gastronomic term, and it includes tomatoes.
      The way to do pedantry right is to at least have your facts straight.

      Also, why do we never get into this nonsense about squash? Where is the “squash is a fruit, not a vegetable” brigade?

  36. drukqs says:

    I bet Jamie Oliver threw a little party when he heard the news.

  37. Romeo Vitelli says:

    Strangely enough, there are historical precedents.  Although religious rules meant that no meat of any kind except for fish could be eaten during Lent, the Catholic Church declared puffins to be fish on the grounds that they were a cross between birds and fish since they could swim underwater.  Hence their meat could be eaten during Lent.

    http://projectpuffin.org/PuffinQuestions.html

  38. No, pizza is not a vegetable and saying it is just screams “stupid”.
    That said, let the damn kids have the damn pizza damnit.
    Stupid government *gruffgrumblebigbrotherfacismgrumblecanteveneatapizzagrumble*

  39. Chuck says:

    Oh!  I think I see what’s happening.  It’s a form of transubstantiation, right?  Got it.

  40. grandmapucker says:

    So now, if you’ve got pizza on a bagel, not only can you have pizza anytime, but you also have a vegetable.

  41. pebird says:

    I had great success growing pizza trees from the pizza seeds I bought through the internet. But my dog kept eating the pizza fruits, so I had to close my pizza farm.

  42. obah says:

    Are things as bad as they seem in America? From what I understood your markets don’t have to inform consumers which country fruits and vegetables are from? Are there any nutritional information in american food stuffs? Why don’t you want to take care of your health especially when health care system seems to be so crappy?

    • Talia says:

      Yes, of course there’s nutritional information on food. It’s even been required at most restaurants nowadays. What you’re seeing here is not the fault of the people as a whole; it’s corruption in government.

    • Ambiguity says:

      Are things as bad as they seem in America?

      I don’t know what your perception is, but probably not.

      From what I understood your markets don’t have to inform consumers which country fruits and vegetables are from?

      Currently country-of-origin labeling is voluntary. I usually get my vegetables from the local farmer’s market or our CSA share, but in the winter when we have to get stuff at the grocery it is often labeled, but not always. I think that’s kind of silly, but it is what we currently have.

      So yes, they don’t have to, but the often/usually do.

      Are there any nutritional information in american food stuffs?

      Ah… yes. We have food labeling requirements, same as, just about every other “modern” country.

      http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=4&tax_level=2&tax_subject=273&topic_id=1317

      Why don’t you want to take care of your health especially when health care system seems to be so crappy?

      I’ll ignore the trollish nature of the wording breifly: The issue with the US’s health care system is its availability, not its quality. If you have covereage, there is nothing “crappy” about it, and just characterizing it that way prevents the real nuanced discourse from taking place, which is concerning its availability.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        The EU, on the other hand, was throwing out mass quantities of edible food because the regulations for appearance were so strict. Is sanity a controlled substance?

  43. angusm says:

    I’m trying to start a campaign to get pizza declared to be a part of speech, an enforceable traffic ordinance, and the state bird of New Jersey. I thought of trying to have pi made legally equal to pizza, but that would probably be too easy.

  44. Miss Cellania says:

    Sigh. I used to think my kids had it so good, eating pizza and tacos and chicken nuggets at school, while I had to do with pinto beans and cornbread at least twice a week back in the 60s. The other days were mystery meat and cooked spinach, and hamburgers on Friday that contained at least 50% meat extender. Then we were banished from the lunchroom after 6th grade due to lack of space.

    But now I’ve seen the crap they get and cannot believe the full price is $2.50. If my family wasn’t subsidized, that would be $10 a day for lunch worth about $2.

  45. Alan says:

    Sysco. Look it up.
    /they also do most our nation’s prison food

  46. Bubba73 says:

    BRB just making a pizza gazpacho, I forsee the calories just falling away

  47. RufusTheGreat says:

    This is perfectly some of the crap that OWS is protesting.  Who paid whom for this?  Which congressmen own stock in the companies that stand to gain?  This had no business being on the docket as it wasn’t a problem for anyone except the makers of crap food, there’s better things to spend their time on.  But someone paid enough money to get access and do some greasing of wheels somewhere to make sure that “jobs were created” at company X (the one making the pizza) at the expense of jobs at company Y (the carrot distributer).  No net jobs created because no change in the amount of money paid out.

    If the pizza were healthy, company X would not need a congressional law to get it purchased by schools.  This was about someone in congress bettering their personal position by helping someone else better theirs.

  48. Wally Ballou says:

    Why is the federal government in charge of what can be served in school cafeterias?

    Is this in any way an improvement over the status quo ante??

    • Mike MacKenzie says:

      Mostly the USDA sets minimum standards, and most schools do the minimum or less because of budget concerns.   In this case the legislative branch is trying to lower the bar so that the frozen food corps can increase profits.

    • EvilSpirit says:

      Why is the federal government in charge of what can be served in school cafeterias?

      The federal government provides funding to buy school lunches under the National School Lunch Program. It sets standards for what it’s buying. Not all schools participate in the NSLP, but I don’t know what the issues are around that.

      Is this in any way an improvement over the status quo ante??

      The status quo ante was more volatile farm prices and more childhood hunger. Now there’s less of those things, but issues with childhood obesity and nutritional standards (thanks in part, as we see, to our pals in the pizza and potato lobbies). You decide.

  49. peregrinus says:

    Pizza + fries + froot loops + Coke + Hersheys Bar = 5 a day.

    Before it was just 4.  This is a nutritionally aware congress.

  50. Senor Schaffer says:

    Frozen Pizza Lobbist Guy to Senator: What do you want on your Tombstone?

    In this case he meant a literal tombstone.

  51. You’re living in a country where big business can get pizza declared a vegetable.  Do you still think that you are living in a functional democracy?

    Not, I should quickly point out, that I think things are any better here in the UK.  On the contrary: the difference over here is that we would never know.

  52. That Evening Sun says:

    “This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools,
    the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied
    Congress. Piling on to the companies’ opposition, some conservatives argue that
    the federal government shouldn’t tell children what to eat.”

    “This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools,
    the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied
    Congress. Piling on to the companies’ opposition, some conservatives argue that
    the federal government shouldn’t tell children what to eat.”

    “This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools,
    the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied
    Congress. Piling on to the companies’ opposition, some conservatives argue that
    the federal government shouldn’t tell children what to eat.

    “This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools,
    the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied
    Congress.Piling on to the companies’ opposition, some conservatives argue that
    the federal government shouldn’t tell children what to eat.”

    “This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools,
    the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied
    Congress. Piling on to the companies’ opposition, some conservatives argue that
    the federal government shouldn’t tell children what to eat.”

    Congress pushes back on healthier school lunches

  53. No private school, however corrupted by the pizza industry, could afford such silliness while keeping the present quality and cost of our government’s schools. 

    PS: such observation doesn’t mean that I disregard the poors’ education, simply that the poor are actually better served by a competitive system in the long run.

  54. VerySincerely says:

    This story perfectly demonstrates in a very understandable way the corporatism that Occupy Wall Street has assembled to protest. 

    The original bill seems to be concerned with the health and welfare of children. Who could possibly oppose a bill that would improve the health of school children? The pizza makers who stand to lose money. And their political arm (in this case the Red part) legislated in favour of the pizza lobby, while ignoring the health of school children, the wishes of the voters, and any kind of voice of conscience that might have whispered “you’re better than this.”  

    We need a revolution.

  55. TheKaz1969 says:

    yes! now maybe my wife will get off my back about eating veggies…

  56. whatebahw says:

    Pizza is a vegetable if you wash it down with Brawndo.

    Could this be any more like Idiocracy?

  57. m1kesa1m0ns says:

    Oh, so I should be getting my healthy eating tips from the frozen food industry, not registered dieticians. Good to know. Really, is this how important kid nutrition is an America?

  58. miasm says:

    WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH AND PIZZA IS VEGETABLE.

  59. UrbanUndead says:

    Also strongly lobbied by the makers of Chubbettes clothing line

  60. Ralph Bayer says:

    All I have to say about that is “Stupid is as stupid does”

  61. Michelle Obama, this is your cue.

  62. TheMudshark says:

    In related news, Epic Meal Time have been hired as nutritional advisors to U.S. congress. SMART!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFB_vHVFM_8&ob=av3e

  63. Eytan Levy says:

    Solution:

    Help sign the petition to declare Congress a vegetable!

  64. aleqi says:

    There is precedent for this already… in 1981 the year of my birth congress approved ketchup as a vegetable for school lunches.  Yes they did

  65. This is why the USA is the laughing stock of the world. The OWS movement need simply to point towards this bill to show how corporations are dictating the law.

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