Shhhhhh………..don’t tell my kids I let facebook distract me.
As it stands, a 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on one slice of pizza (YOWZA!) is considered a full serving of vegetables, which meets the USDA standards. But thanks to food companies’
threats lobbying efforts - cool $5.6 million worth - two tablespoons of tomato paste was all that was needed for a slice of pizza to be classified as a vegetable.
And why not? After all, ketchup is a vegetable, right?
Why I think serving pizza at school is not the worst thing.
Unlike many critics, I have no problem calling a plain cheese pizza a vegetable. Although some of the ingredients aren’t really plant derived, there are more vegetables in pizza, one of America’s top 10 favorite fast foods, than any other fast foods. Heck, when we make pizza at home, there are more vegetables on it than some salads they serve at restaurants – by the way, salad pizza is one of my favorite pizzas! And if a slice of pizza contains all food groups, and then some, why not feed it to the kids at school? It’s certainly better than hot dogs filled with unknown fillers and carcinogens. Or, greasy hamburgers. Or cold cut sandwiches filled with nitrates – carcinogens. Or chicken nuggets with “unknown” mush of various “unknown” pseudo meat (?) parts.
In fact, since I stopped eating meat, a nice piping hot Brooklyn style pizza is one of the simplest dinners my carnivorous family and I can agree on. It’s easy. It’s quick. And it hasn’t been on the news that it causes cancer, yet. Ok. so the starchy dough may cause raised sugar levels. And extra cheese may contribute to arteries to clog. But honestly, I really don’t think an occasional slice of pizza, if served with veggies as toppings, can, all of a sudden, cause diabetes in kids. Many ‘other’ factors can cause diabetes; not just a slice of pizza eaten at school.
But having said, I agree – pizza is NOT the most nutritious lunch option for kids. Yes, I think it’s better than most, but kids should not rely on pizza as a main meal, especially if they have diabetes or if they are overweight or obese already. But if it’s a choice between NOT eating lunch and a slice of pizza, I’d say choose the pizza.
And while it’s true that obesity rate in kids is going up and it’s a problem among adults, let’s look at what this move by Congress really means and how this bill has nothing to do with kids getting diabetes or obese.
Should we even be talking about what to serve in school cafeterias?
Again, so pizza is not the most nutritious lunch option for kids and it’s ridiculous to call it a vegetable, technically. But why should we even argue whether we should call pizza a vegetable? If we didn’t pay to subsidize school lunches, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If Congress is not involved in feeding our kids, who gives a hoot what they think? Congress is hugely influenced by lobbyists and big food corporations and not by the actual people paying for these lunches, US, the tax payers. Heck, I’m not even sure if they care about the actual people who they are suppose to feed and protect, THE KIDS!
I mean, face it. We can huff & puff and talk about how ludicrous that congress is calling pizza a vegetable because of a mere 2 tablespoon of tomato paste on a slice of pizza but it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem and that is subsidy of school lunches.
My feeling is that as long as school lunches are subsidized,
we , our kids are enslaved to the lobbyists and they control what goes in our kids lunches.
Don’t you agree? As long as school lunches are in the hands of politicians, it really doesn’t matter what we think are healthy and not healthy. Lobbyists will tell us what’s healthy and what to feed our kids – kinda like what Monsanto is telling farmers what to grow and not to grow.
This is why I always made my kids’ lunches. But I paid for Jack and Jill’s frozen, re-heated, full-of-artificial- additive-ridden-chicken-nuggets-from-unknown-origin at their school because chicken nugget lobbying group said that’s what the kids need to eat.
Congress telling us what’s healthy and not healthy to feed the kids IS the worst thing
So if Congress shouldn’t tell us to feed what foods to kids, who should? The Parents.
Parents should decide which food companies should feed what kinds of foods to the kids. If each school district gives the decision making power and the budget to the school community, foods will be healthier and the money will be spent more wisely. After all, who know the kids better than the parents?
So, what do YOU think? Do you think YOU should PAY for kids school lunches that you wouldn’t feed your own kids but lobbyists are telling you to pay for them?
P.S. When I was the Chairperson for my kids Elementary School’s PTA’s Health and Safety Committee, I fought to bring Healthy Kids Initiative to the district. While I organized monthly health related activities, (even invited a cow from a local farm to educate kids about drinking milk – even had a blind test between Whole Milk and Low Fat Milk (kids’ favorite!), the district signed an agreement with Pepsi Co. to bring vending machines to the schools, as a way of raising money to pay for the athletic programs. Yeah, telling kids to drink soda so that we can support their football program made a lot of sense. The Superintendent told me his hands were tied as Pepsi was giving the district a lot of money. Again, subsidy for kids’ sake, right?