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Pizza is a Vegetable. Really Congress?

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Pizza is a Vegetable. Really Congress?

Shame on Congress. Those of us who still doubted it now have irrevocable proof: this country is a corporate tyranny that only postures as a republic. How else would elected officials obey food industry lobbyists at the expense of school children and public health? If you’re still unconvinced, ponder this: today, the House and the Senate voted a joint House-Senate agriculture spending bill that classifies tomato paste on pizzas as a vegetable, eliminates limitations which keep potatoes and other starchy vegetables–read: French fries–to two servings per week, and weaken restrictions on sodium.

The bill stands in direct opposition to the new dietary recommendations set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in June, which called for limiting potatoes (a.k.a. French fries), processed foods and sodium, and boosting whole grains and fresh vegetables. Optimists had it that the new food map would be the foundation upon which nutritional and dietary guideline for the federal school lunch program would be built–in the wake of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law last December.

Think again. Big Food lost no time getting to work to rescue its chestnuts from the fire, as the French saying goes. Its message on Capitol Hill rests on two pillars: 1/ reforming school lunches necessarily requires a budget increase that no one can afford 2/ who does the government think it is that it can tell schools what to feed the kids? (Never mind the fact that taxpayers foot the bill to feed more than 30 million school children, which gives them the right to demand that that food be as healthy as possible).

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Laetitia Mailhes

Laetitia Mailhes is a French-born journalist. After many years as the technology and innovation correspondent of the French "Financial Times" in San Francisco, she decided to focus on what truly matters to her: sustainable food and farming. Find more articles and videos on her blog, The Green Plate Blog.

259 comments

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5:29AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:08AM PST on Dec 27, 2011

Shameful!!

2:42PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

so disheartening

6:05AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

Don S, to see where the insanity may end, first consider the long gone but not lamented "Wiemar Republic," which inflated itself while destroying forests to print worthless money. Next consider the elected morons who initiate wars we cannot win, while turning large portions of the political world against us. Hey, what happened to the Soviet union, and why? Now we're doing the same thing, even using their old bases, and it is bleeding us dry! next consider what our government has allowed corporations to do to us, and then take a look at Europe, which tried to imitate us, so now they're falling into the same pit of historic obscurity! Water boarding may be an Olympics sport next games year, and Social Security has been riddled with borrowing using worthless bonds for collateral. Our banks are collapsing, our money is worthless, and China owns us. I know people going to China from the US to work! The insanity may end when China, in the background takes over, and we won't like the result. Walter G.

5:48AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

If Pizza is a vegetable, so is our Congress! Congress is a rotten vegetable which needs drastic cutting to save any of it. Next year if a voter ignores the stupid babble of speeches, the dead pan comedy of "debates," and the racketeering and moronic chicanery of party conventions, but instead makes the decision exclusively by the legislator's record, most of the so called Lawmakers may be replaced. Vote them out if you think they did not deliver. The message to the replacements will be, "Produce or this is your only term, which may even be interrupted by impeachment." Nothing like a sweating, stressed office holder to understand who is in charge. The danger is of course the dumbed down millions, the "sheeple" who ignore their future for the sake of entertainment or recreational drugs. The country is already in shambles, we are headed for the same break up as is the Soviet Union. Welcome to United States Titanic! Cold hard economic facts trump an iceberg any day. What did you do, what are you doing, and what will you do . . . about the stupid innocuous oligarchy which controls your life to enrich themselves? I vote in Fla, but I live on an island in the pacific, and extremely thankful I am for that. Why? "American Spring," and the "Tea Party," doing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons is the start of the so-called 'Spring." So sit back and watch your business places, and your home invaded, burned, and looted. Hey, your recliner is on fire! Walter G.

5:12PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

lol wow, good going congress, so smrt of you -.-

7:17AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

These bunch of jackass's can't make a decision on how to get this country back on track but take all this time to make a deliberation on a subject such as this. I thought schools hired dietitions to make sure our kids are being fed a proper meal.

9:50AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

What about the G M O's and B G H and M S G in that pizza? Don't forget what we should really be complaining about.

9:46AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

Calm down...there are more important things to worry about, like GMO's and MSG in that pizza....but no, not 'really': http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/did-congress-declare-pizza-as-a-vegetable-not-exactly/2011/11/20/gIQABXgmhN_blog.html

4:19AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

Afterthought. Schools could use sweet potato fries - baked, not fried.

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