I give up…Posted: November 18, 2011
Sometimes it is the little things that get you down. Like Congress trying to decide whether or not pizza should be considered a vegetable. “Vegetable,” in this case, means whether or not pizza can ‘count’ towards a serving of vegetables for the US school lunch food program.
A few years ago, Washington wanted us to believe that ketchup should be considered a vegetable. A few years before that, they wanted to reclassify salsa as a vegetable. I think that most sane people would agree that eating some salsa on some chips or eating some ketchup on a hamburger is not a substitute for a salad or carrots or an ear of corn.
The mendacity of the whole process by which Congress decides what children should eat is revealed by this quote from a pro-pizza-as-vegetable lobbyist from the American Frozen Food Institute: “If the USDA rule went forward as is, pizza would most certainly be all but impossible to serve in school lunch programs,” said Corey Henry, a spokesman for the American Frozen Food Institute. “Schools have to meet nutrition requirements at every meal to get reimbursed by the federal government. To get a vegetable credit using tomato paste under the USDA’s proposed rule, schools would have to drown pizza in tomato sauce to the point where kids would never want to eat a slice of pizza. If schools have to add so much sauce to get a vegetable credit that pizza becomes inedible, they simply won’t serve pizza any longer.”
In other words, Mr. Henry is saying that in order to get pizza paid for by the tax payer, they would have to add more actual vegetable matter to the pizza. But adding more vegetables to the pizza in order to make it qualify as a vegetable might make the kids like it less, therefore the solution is to just change the definition of what a vegetable is to include pizza so that the companies that sell pizza to schools can continue to make money off of the taxpayer.
Why stop there? I’m sure the candy manufacturers would love it if we redefined ‘jellybeans’ as a vegetable. Heck, it even has ‘bean’ in the name so it’s gotta be a vegetable, right? And who says something even needs to be edible in order to qualify as a vegetable? I’m sure the makers of paper clips would love to get some school lunch program money, so why not reclassify paperclips as a vegetable, too?
No wonder our education system is totally jacked up.