Move over pomegranates! Pizza is taking over as the new vegetable. At least that is according to a recent Senate vote on school lunches. If I may sound a bit more emotional than intellectual for just a moment. Are you kidding me?! The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed that pizza have a total of a 1/4 cup of tomato sauce per slice on it in order to qualify as a serving of vegetable. Since when is pizza or tomato sauce even considered a vegetable? Put some sauce on it and call it a day?
Another part of the bill called for a limit on starchy vegetables such as white potatoes, peas, and lima beans. I understand from the perspective of a farmer and producer of these vegetables how this proposal could limit their income. The pizza makers want to keep their income as well. Who is lobbying for the kids? The USDA's proposal also called for a reduction in sodium in the foods the children consume. I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies also love that this bill was turned down. If children are kept overweight and obese and continue to learn that pizza is a vegetable serving, they become patients earlier in life.
My kids are nowhere near school age so this does not apply to them. For some reason, though, this story got under my skin. As a mom who wants the best for my kids, my jaw just drops that a 1/4 cup of tomato sauce is being counted as a vegetable serving so that frozen food manufacturers can continue to serve their food to kids. Kids deserve better than that.
If this story frustrates you, upsets you or just makes you down right mad, check out this petition to improve school food. One million signatures are needed. Jamie Oliver began the Food Revolution. This revolution is about teaching us all the importance of learning basic cooking skills, cooking healthy, fresh food and getting everyone involved to make this the norm and not just a great thought or t.v. show. Please sign the petition so our kids don't grow up thinking that pizza is a vegetable serving.
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear from you.