This is gross. Like really, really gross. Last week the US Congress passed a bill which allowed pizza to be declared as a vegetable – this happened pretty much just so that school cafeterias can serve pizza as part of the vegetable requirement of school meals. Actually, it’s not actually the pizza which is classed as a vegetable – it’s the tomato sauce/paste that is present on the dough. Apparently you only need two table spoons of this for it to be classified a vegetable, which essentially makes pizza a vegetable. This is even more confusing as a tomato is officially a fruit and not a vegetable so how the hell does that make sense? And how the hell can tomato paste be classified as a vegetable anyway?
Apparently the reason that this is happening is that it’s cheaper for schools to provide pizza than traditional vegetables for school lunches so the US government will save money on its subsidised lunches, which are required to have specific vegetable quotas. The official line on the bill (which included some other stuff too) was that it would ‘prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations and to provide greater flexibility for local school districts to improve the nutritional quality of meals.” Not sure if that’s technically true, as clearly classifying pizza as a vegetable is not going to improve the nutritional quality of meals if you order something like a cheese burger with pizza as your vegetable option.
I don’t think I really need to elaborate to anyone how completely gross this is. The fattest nation on earth is only going to get even fatter when bills like this are getting passed. Sure, it might save some money NOW but when everyone is too obese/unhealthy to work who is going to benefit then? Probably China when they become the next superpower in about 20 years. It’s also interesting to note that this bill pretty much directly contradicts one of the campaign promises made by Obama to provide better school lunches, but I guess he doesn’t control Congress so there isn’t much he can do about that. Gotta love U.S. politics and all those checks and balances!
In other news, France also BANNED ketchup in their high school cafeterias in an anti-obesity initiative. Not sure who has got this one right. Banning ketchup is pretty crazy but then again so is classifying pizza as a vegetable. First world problems.