Pizza – the new vegetable

According to the news agency Reuters – The House of Representatives dealt a blow to childhood obesity warriors in the USA on Thursday, by passing a bill that abandons proposals to end the reign of pizza and French fries on federally funded school lunch menus.

Did you know that pizzas are classed as a vegetable on school menus in the United States?

In the USA the school meals programme is overseen by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA is proposing limits on starchy vegetables, whilst requiring schools to serve a wider range of fruit and vegetables. Current rules mean that a pizza only has to contain two tablespoons of tomato paste to qualify as a vegetable!

Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer group that advocates better food and nutrition policies, said U.S. food makers trumpet products they say are healthy while at the same time lobbying against regulations aimed at improving the nutritional quality of their products.

This is an incredible example of the power of large food industry businesses carry and their ability to influence government policy for their own ends. Natural, healthy foods are being displaced in our diets by processed substitutes. The nutritional quality of food from our farms is being ‘watered down’ in the name of profit.

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