In an absurd attempt to counter Federal regulations that greatly limit the amount of junk food that can be served as part of government-funded school lunch programs, the U.S. Congress has proposed a new spending bill that will classify pizza as a vegetable. Reports indicate that the bill allows two tablespoons of tomato paste to be considered as one serving of vegetables.
In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine published recommendations on reforming subsidized school lunch programs, which included reducing the use of starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn to just two days a week, cutting sodium content and promoting the use of whole grains. However, the new congressional bill, which is alleged to be a product of the frozen-food industry lobby, seeks to undo these changes.
Proponents of the bill in Congress say that it will “prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations, and provide greater flexibility for local school districts to improve the nutritional quality of meals.” Opponents insist that the legislation is a thinly veiled attempt to satisfy the demands of special interest groups.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a group that supports the Obama administration’s initial lunchroom reform measures, has expressed vehement opposition to the congressional bill. While the original proposal represents an attempt at improving lunchroom food quality, it is inadequate at promoting real nutrition.
In fact, most school lunchrooms serve pizza that cannot be considered a health food in any way, shape or form. From the refined, brominated, white flour-based dough, to the recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)-laden cheese, this processed food product is a detriment to the health of children. Furthermore, the sauce used on most processed pizzas contains chemical additives and preservatives, as well as potential pesticide residues from non-organic tomatoes.
Once the genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), refined sugars, processed flours, unhealthy GMO oils, chemical salt additives and preservatives are removed from our diets, then we can truly begin a discussion about better health through nutrition.
Sources: www.cspinet.org, www.foxnews.com and www.naturalnews.com.
Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 6, Dec/Jan 2012.