Congress says pizza is NOT a vegetable. Moms say, "Duh!"
FINALLY! Someone in Washington is actually making some sense! Representative senator Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, has just sponsored the SLICE Act, a new bill that has been introduced to overturn the decision that two tablespoons of tomato paste slathered on a school lunch pizza counts as a vegetable. I can't believe it's taken this long but I'm really glad that someone is finally standing up and saying that "no, pizza does NOT count as a vegetable." Because, really, if we're going to do anything to help the nation's childhood obesity problem, that's a good place to start.
Read more ¿Qué más? Healthy stadium food? Chef José Andrés battles childhood obesity
When I read last fall that Congress had upheld the law that a little bit of tomato sauce on pizza would still count as a vegetable in the federal school lunch program, I was pretty appalled. I'm sorry to if this sounds mean, but what kind of IDIOT thinks that pizza should actually count as a vegetable? No wonder our nation's obesity problem is not getting any better! Now, I'm not saying that I don't love pizza (trust me, I do) and that there isn't a place for it in moderation. But what I am saying is that it should not ever count as a serving of vegetables in schools.
It seems that Rep. Polis agrees, since his bill would have the school lunch program count 1/8 cup of tomato pasta as just 1/8 of a cup of vegetables instead of the full 1/2 cup of vegetables (and a full serving) that we count it as now. He explains his standing:
Pizza certainly has its place in school meals, but equating it with broccoli, carrots and celery seriously undermines this nation's efforts to support children's health and their ability to learn because of better school nutrition. Its nutritional content should be accurately reflected in school meal standards.
Want to find other moms como tú? "Like" MamásLatinas on Facebook!
I personally really hope that this bill passes. We need to start teaching better nutrition in schools and sending mixed messages like "pizza is a vegetables" is not a good place to be. Kids can't be fooled into thinking that two slices of pizza is the same as a cup of broccoli. And I hope that parents will be supporting this bill too, because we need to do what we can at home. Although I'm not planning to stop eating pizza any time soon, I know that it's important to understand that it's still a high-calorie once-in-a-while food, not a substitute for healthy veggies with dinner.
What do you think of the new SLICE Act, which would deny that pizza in schools is a "vegetable"? Does your family regularly enjoy pizza? Share with us in the comments below!
Image via Nick Sherman/flickr