Native Village
Youth and Education news

Volume 2, December 2011

Pizza is a Vegetable. Really Congress?
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Washington D.C. The House and the Senate voted on a joint agriculture spending bill that blocks stringent school meal standards. The new rules would:


Classifiy tomato paste on pizzas as  a vegetable.

Remove the 2-servings-per-week limits on potatoes and starchy vegetables, such as French fries.

Weaken restrictions on sodium.


Optimists had hoped the new food map would lead to a healthy federal school lunch program based on the Healthy,  Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law last December. Instead, the new bill goes against healthy dietary guidelines  set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Those recommendations call for limiting potatoes, processed foods and sodium. It also calls for boosting whole grains and fresh vegetables. 

Harvard's website agrees. It says: "The more veggies and the greater the variety -- the better. Potatoes and french fries don't count!!


Congress's new agriculture bill followed intense lobbying from the pizza and French fry industries. The frozen food industry is claiming a victory. The trade group, American Frozen Food Institute, released a statement that “commends” appropriators for their “balanced approach to implementing new school meal standards.”


Even before the final vote in the House and in the Senate,
Public health advocates raised the red flag. 
Celebrity chefs who’ve been campaigning to save kids from the diabetes epidemic are reeling.
 And military brass are calling the bill a “national  disgrace.”


“This new effort to undermine school nutrition regulations raises national security concerns,” said Amy Dawson Taggart, director of the nonprofit Mission: Readiness.


Mission: Readiness is a nonpartisan, national security organization led by over 250 retired generals, admirals, and senior military leaders. Their concern is ensuring the future of the U.S. military. Currently 25% of the population is unfit for service because of obesity.

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