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Old 11-17-2011, 12:18 PM   #1
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Congress: Pizza is a Vegetable

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Ketchup still isn’t a vegetable but some members of Congress are working to make sure pizza still is.

With budget-cutting topping lawmakers’ list of priorities, Congress is set to halt some of the Department of Agriculture’s new nutritional guidelines for school lunches, requirements the USDA estimates will increase the already $11 billion school lunch program by almost $7 billion over five years.

Sound familiar? It should. Back in the 1980s former president Ronald Reagan tried to cut down on school lunch funding by classifying ketchup, which is much cheaper than broccoli or peas, as one of the required servings of vegetables.

Under the current school lunch rules, the two tablespoons of tomato sauce on a slice of pizza qualifies as a serving of vegetables. And a Congressional spending bill released this week ensures that it stays that way.
“We are not saying pizza is a vegetable,” said Corey Henry, the spokesman for the American Frozen Food Institute, which supports the bill. “What we are saying is if you serve a slice of pizza with 2 tablespoons of vegetable paste, it can be an important way to deliver a number of vegetables that children will actually consume.”
The “mini-bus” appropriations bill, which the House is expected to vote on this week, also axes the agriculture department’s plan to limit “starchy” vegetables, such as potatoes, and stops a rule that would require schools to serve whole grains.

“This is a tragedy for the country,” said retired four-star Air Force General Richard E. Hawley, who now works with Mission: Readiness to combat obesity. “We are taking a step backward apparently in response to pressure from groups who see it in their interest to serve junk food in our schools.”
Hawley said America’s obesity epidemic is a threat to national security because it is the most common medical reason why 75 percent of the country’s youth does not meet the basic requirements to serve in the military. One out of every three children in America are overweight or obese, according to the White House.
“The issue is, are we serving a balanced diet?” Hawley said. “There’s nothing wrong with the occasional french fry, but we need to make sure there’s more to the school diet than a pizza with a little dash of tomato sauce on it.”

According to the House Appropriations Committee, these changes “prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations” that the committee’s report said would leave school districts “in the lurch.”
The spending bill only addresses some of the USDA’s proposed changes.

Nicole Barron, the business manager for the Nutrition Services Department of the Minneapolis School District, said she is most concerned about a few of the requirements that are not mentioned in the legislation, such as a proposal to increase the required fruit and vegetable serving sizes.

Because these food items are more expensive, Barron said the proposed changes may be more than some school districts can afford. USDA estimates that taken together, all of their nutritional changes would increase the cost of each lunch by about 14 cents.

“When you really get down to it, more nutritious meals cost more money,” said Jennifer Cohen, a senior education policy analyst at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. “And as long as we are in a situation where they are pushing for fiscal austerity in federal government, it’s unlikely that we are going to see a push for these nutritional awareness movements in school lunches.”
Cohen said the spending bill that is currently pending on Capitol Hill is “a pretty blatant product of special interest push back” because it targets requirements that would limit specific products, such as potatoes and frozen pizzas, while leaving broad calorie and fat restrictions untouched.

Two of the largest proponents of the bill, the National Potato Council and the American Frozen Food Institute, together have spent about $440,000 lobbying this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Both groups emphasized the nutritional value of potatoes and pizza, both of which are targeted by the USDA requirements and protected by the Congressional legislation.
“We believe we can improve child nutrition by ensuring that schools are able to provide vegetables in any form,” Henry said. “It’s a little bizarre for us that in trying to improve nutrition, you take items from school cafeterias that do provide vital sources of vitamins and nutrients.”
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...a-a-vegetable/

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Old 11-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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My Friend was telling me about this,

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Old 11-17-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
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hahaha only in America

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Old 11-17-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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You guys are seriously so ....ed. I feel bad for Americans. It won't be long before lobbyists are "convincing" your corrupt congress on the health benefits of meth...
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:54 PM   #5
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Since white flour builds up and congests the digestive track over time, inhibiting the absorption of many nutrients, pizza is sort of neutral if you're going to count it's merits of health. As a rule, though, you shouldn't even consider this point to begin with.

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Old 11-17-2011, 10:49 PM   #6
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There really is no help for someone who can be convinced that pizza is a healthy food to start with. Hey, I love pizza, but I'm not going to rationalize it with crap like, "teh tomato sauce is a serving of vegetables!!!11!1!"

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Old 11-17-2011, 10:49 PM   #7
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This is ridiculous. I understand the superficial reasoning of wanting to cut back on spending, but it's very clear that this wasn't motivated by an urge to pull back on the Fed's spending habits.

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Old 11-17-2011, 11:00 PM   #8
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Mmmmmmm vegetables.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:43 PM   #9
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At least they recognize that fact that kids definitely don't eat fruit/vegetables that come with meals at schools.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:01 AM   #10
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Pizza for vegetables? DOORS!
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:34 AM   #11
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I swear America has become a parody of itself. I used to laugh when people make jokes about stereotypical America, but now I don't because the real thing is just so hilarious but equally frightening that there's no competition. This is why The Onion catches me off guard; half the .... it jokes about could actually happen in America.

The rest of the world laughs nervously.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:40 AM   #12
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I've been telling people for a while now that since chocolate is made from a cocoa been it's a legume, 'justifying' eating chocolate instead of breakfast.

Also, cocaine is made from a plant, so it's a vegetable, and counts towards your 5 a day.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:41 AM   #13
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:43 AM   #14
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FOR ....'S SAKE, TOMATOES ARE A FRUIT, NOT A VEGETABLE.

Can't believe this is the thing that bothers me most about this article, it beggars belief how stupid some of the ....wits in charge of schools that country are. If any of you have seen Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on TV, where he's trying to improve food in LA schools against a tide of resistance from penny-pinching, idiotic politicians, that is exactly what I'm reminded of here.

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Old 11-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #15
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FOR ....'S SAKE, TOMATOES ARE A FRUIT, NOT A VEGETABLE.
My sister, who holds a Master's degree, thought I was talking bull.... when I said that squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, corn (Maize to the rest of the world. Is there a such thing as popmaize?), and pumpkins are fruit. Politicians have so severely distorted our perception of food. Whatever, when the Chinese invade and line up all the fat people in front of a ditch, I'll be living in the woods and practicing crop rotation until all the assholes in the world go extinct.

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Old 11-18-2011, 12:58 PM   #16
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And drugs are bad...

Mmkay...?




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Old 11-18-2011, 01:00 PM   #17
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At least they recognize that fact that kids definitely don't eat fruit/vegetables that come with meals at schools.
What?



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Old 11-18-2011, 01:38 PM   #18
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FOR ....'S SAKE, TOMATOES ARE A FRUIT, NOT A VEGETABLE.
You know what, in all the madness of this thing I completely forgot that. The principle alone of considering pizza a vegetable seemed mad to me, forgot that the main ingredient isn't even a vegetable. :
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SchecterWhore View Post
My sister, who holds a Master's degree, thought I was talking bull.... when I said that squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, corn (Maize to the rest of the world. Is there a such thing as popmaize?), and pumpkins are fruit. Politicians have so severely distorted our perception of food. Whatever, when the Chinese invade and line up all the fat people in front of a ditch, I'll be living in the woods and practicing crop rotation until all the assholes in the world go extinct.
Peppers, corn and cucumber I thought were vegetables. Odd lol.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:56 PM   #20
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The only vegetables are those dumb asses in Congress.
There is NO brain activity there!

Can we get them classified as vegetables?
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:58 PM   #21
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You know what, in all the madness of this thing I completely forgot that. The principle alone of considering pizza a vegetable seemed mad to me, forgot that the main ingredient isn't even a vegetable. :
To be honest, at this point despite the validity of that argument it's really of no consequence. The notion that it's good practice to make school lunches less healthy based on unfounded claims is bad enough w/o diving deeper into the jackassery.



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Old 11-18-2011, 02:01 PM   #22
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The only vegetables are those dumb asses in Congress.
There is NO brain activity there!

Can we get them classified as vegetables?
That would be giving them too much credit. They're dense and refuse to budge... That sounds like sediment to me.



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Old 11-18-2011, 02:49 PM   #23
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Obviously they're on the take.


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Old 11-18-2011, 09:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vampiregenocide View Post
I swear America has become a parody of itself. I used to laugh when people make jokes about stereotypical America, but now I don't because the real thing is just so hilarious but equally frightening that there's no competition. This is why The Onion catches me off guard; half the .... it jokes about could actually happen in America.
Oh now now now, we're a big country. There are over 300 million people living here, so even if 149 million people are mind-numbingly stupid and believe amazingly idiotic things, at least it's not the majority! Relax!

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Old 11-18-2011, 10:17 PM   #25
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That would be giving them too much credit. They're dense and refuse to budge... That sounds like sediment to me.
You got a point there. Plus they would have a ZERO nutritional value
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