I like to think I’m pretty easy going and it takes a lot to make me angry, but right now I’m bordering on the edge of turning “Hulk” green and going on a legendary Lewis Black rant. Pizza a vegetable? Are you f-ing kidding me?
Ok U.S. Congress, I can deal with you being completely wasteful with our tax dollars, or deciding that Pluto is no longer technically a planet, but do not, DO NOT try and teach our kids more bullsh*t about what they are putting in their bodies. Our kids are our future and they have a lot of repairing to do once you are done with our lovely country.
Here’s why I’m so mad…
From the Associated Press:
The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year. These include limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line, putting new restrictions on sodium and boosting the use of whole grains. The legislation would block or delay all of those efforts.
The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that.
Nutritionists say the whole effort is reminiscent of the Reagan administration’s much-ridiculed attempt 30 years ago to classify ketchup as a vegetable to cut costs. This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied Congress.
What this means: New school lunch standards to ensure healthier meals for our children will NOT go into effect. French fries will stay on the menu at school, everyday. A boost in the amount of whole grains served will be delayed. Pizza will now be classified as a vegetable in school lunches.
Here’s 5 reasons why I’m so angry with this decision:
- We are conditioning our kids to think it’s good to have a steady diet of pizza and fries. I don’t care if you are the smartest kid in your class and “The Paleo Solution” author Robb Wolf is your father, you WILL be influenced by the things you see every day, especially when you are young. You will begin to think maybe pizza and fries isn’t so bad for you, and then you might actually start believing that it’s good for you! You will begin to believe the lies that were fed to our government by food company lobbyists, because now you are being fed a steady diet of lies every day.
- We are cutting too many corners when it comes to our children. Isn’t there SOMEONE in Washington saying, “Wait, I think our kids are MORE important than this!” Isn’t our kids’ health more important than cutting corners in the name of a dollar. I thought we had a childhood obesity epidemic in our country that we were trying to fight. Oh yeah, that’s right, we have an obesity epidemic, but we’re not trying to do anything about it. We’d rather have disasters in Medicare and Medicaid in the future then deal with proper nutrition NOW!
- We are allowing lobbyist money to make decisions for us. As Jon Stewart put it on “The Daily Show”, “It’s not democracy, its DiGiorno.” Wrote Huffington Post writer Jason Linkins about how it would have pushed pizza companies and French fry makers out of the school lunch business; “It would have pushed vegetable growers into the business, but their lobbyists aren’t as powerful, it seems.” Notice also how the news articles have to point to the food companies’ beneficial nutritional claims. They don’t say “scientists believe…” or “studies show”, they blatantly say, “food company lobbyists claim…” Why? Because there is hardly any nutritional value in these foods!
- We are subsidizing the crap out of CRAP. Why does our government throw so much money at subsidizing corn, potatoes, and grains? There is a reason that unhealthy foods like these are cheaper, because the government helps keep them that way. Could healthier foods like organic leafy greens be cheaper? Sure, but there isn’t any big political money coming from organic farmers.
- Lower class families who rely on free or reduced lunches are the ones who really suffer. They rely on the school to provide for their kids and do so in a manner that promotes better health. If kids on a lunch program are given the chance to choose pizza and fries over baked chicken and green beans, they will pick the former EVERY SINGLE DAY, and think nothing of it. They fill their bodies with crap, their insulin spikes, and its leads to a crash in the classroom. They don’t know any better because we aren’t teaching them any better.
Instead of taking proactive steps to better the world of nutrition where it arguably matters MOST (in our schools), we are taking huge steps backward. This is a national DISGRACE.
It just means we have to work that much harder to inform our family, friends, and children about proper nutrition. We have to work harder than the food company lobbyists with the fat wallets. I’m not a father just yet but I’ve already spent long hours just thinking about how I want to make sure my kids are properly informed and given their best chance to live the healthiest life they possibly want.
A pretty good video of this news story: