Does it seem odd to anyone else that Congress is fighting to KEEP pizza and French fries on school lunch menus instead of forcing them off in the name of keeping kids healthier?
Seems like that’s exactly what they are doing, though – releasing a spending bill earlier this week that would, for the most part, derail new school lunch standards the Agriculture Department passed earlier this year. The Associated Press has the full story here.
Here are some of the highlights, all which go against what the USDA had proposed as ways to help curb childhood obesity:
• Tomato paste on pizza would continue to be considered a vegetable. (If schools threw on peppers, onions and mushrooms, could it count as a salad?)
• No limit on the use of potatoes will be implemented. (Can we at least add some lemon and fresh herbs to infuse some vitamins and “earthy” flavor?)
• There also won’t be a limit on sodium, and kids won’t be forced to devour more whole grains. (Sorry Kashi).
The Associated Press story says that conservatives in Congress (also read: Old-fart Republicans) don’t feel it appropriate for the federal government to regulate what kids eat at lunch. And how can you argue with that logic? It’s not the government’s job to look out for us!
Turns out that some 1-percenters that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers were really backing these latest changes (also read: They threw a boat load of money at members of Congress, who in turn “agreed” with what they had to say). At this point, though, is this even surprising or sickening? Frankly, I’m not even a little perturbed by it.
Instead, I say let’s take this a step further. If pizza and French fries are acceptable, why not:
• Gummi bears: Because they’re fruit flavored, can’t we consider them a rich source of vitamins?
• S’mores: A typical serving of graham crackers provides 9% of your daily fiber. Double it up with one on top and one on bottom and that, my friends, is 18%.
• Mac & cheese: All the kids love it, and it has dairy, dairy and some more dairy. Milk does a body good, right?
• Movie popcorn: Not the healthy, low-sodium, low-butter stuff; the oversized kind served in wax paper bags and loaded with butter. Corn is good for kids.