We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, November 18. 2011
I'd like to thank my teens for pointing out to me that pizza has been declared a vegetable by Congress.
Years ago, the Reagan administration received abuse for suggesting ketchup was a vegetable. Now we have Congress actually voting on this stuff?
Tomatoes, of course, are a fruit. So pizza should be a fruit, not a vegetable. Since they can't even get that right, it's probably no surprise Congress can't come to a reasonable agreement on the budget.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Pizza is the same as Christina Hendricks, its a dish.
This is kind of silly but it's what you get when any level of government wants to micro-manage our lives.
A mixed-product pizza has the whole food pyramid on board but in different proportions than the nanny-staters have in mind. The tomato sauce on a pizza can be a "vegetable" serving. The nutritional line between vegetable and fruit is artificial at best.
In any case, the most important element of a school lunch is that the kids actually eat the food. When the schools offer Michelle-approved lunches, the kids eat less than half of the food. I base this on the sample that my sweetheart helps to feed at an elementary school.
Pizza is an enjoyable way to give kids a varied diet in one serving. I'll go along with that.
Pizza is the complete food group. With anchovy, peppers and hamburg it is fish, meat, fruit, dairy, vegetable and bread. Make mine a double!
"the most important element of a school lunch is that the kids actually eat the food. When the schools offer Michelle-approved lunches, the kids eat less than half of the food"
which is as intended, because they're all morbidly obese (even if they're starving from anorexia) and thus need to eat less...
Haven't you listened to your betters in Washington lately?
this article was written by a comedian from Jon Stewarts show who warps reality and blames the GOP somehow ... and somehow everyone believes her .. ?? here is the caption from her article: "US Congress this week blocked USDA proposals that would have mandated more tomato sauce on pizzas for US school lunches to justify pizza's designation as a vegetable portion." 1st it's not just the GOP in Congress; 2nd it's the USDA = how does this become a real story?
The Daily Show did use it as comedy fodder. However, it is true (regardless of the political slant they were hoping to push), thus it's 'news' (since real news like the US recognizing the tyrants in Myanmar isn't news that often anymore).
Congress is voting on it. As this article points out, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste qualifies as a vegetable. Thus it is something that has already been voted on before (probably by a Democratic Congress), and will be voted on again.
Who voted for this? I don't know and don't care. It's beyond idiotic that it's being voted on at all.
I can't stand having Michelle tell me what to eat, and I certainly don't want Congress telling me what food is.
Let's set the Way Back Machine for September, 1981 and visit Washington during President Ronald Reagan's Administration in it's first year.
By way of background, ketchup and other food products are classified for different purposes by different agencies under a number of different federal programs. Then as now, local school districts could receive reimbursement for each lunch served provided it met minimum standards. A few months after Reagan took office, Congress cut $1 billion from child-nutrition funding and gave the USDA 90 days to come up with new standards that would enable school districts to economize without compromising nutrition.
President Regan's Agriculture Secretary John Block, an antiregulatory zealot (and as subsequently was revealed a moron), convened a panel of "experts" consisting of nutritionists, dietitians and food service types. As the meeting went on and the panel discussed what was food and what wasn't food, the reclassification of ketchup as a "condiment" was batted around - the idea was to make it a fruit/vegetable if it was part of the ingredients of something or other.
Now you have to remember that the object was to reduce what was called "plate waste" - meaning that only the good stuff was eaten and the veggies were thrown away - a cost that, in the eyes of Block anyway, needed to be reduced. Realists on the panel (meaning those who actually had dealt with kids in the past or present) reasoned that if they could count ketchup as a vegetable they could reset standards without having to throw away so many lima beans, thereby saving money while having no impact on the kids.
Looked at with a critical eye, it makes sense. Plus, ketchup wasn't the only permissible substitute: pickle relish and other condiments could also count as vegetables the precise interpretation was left to state officials. Protein sources like tofu or cottage cheese could replace meat and corn chips, pretzels, and other snacks could replace bread. Minimum portion sizes were also reduced, purportedly another effort to reduce waste.
There was a certain sense of righteous justification - they really thought they were doing something clever without impacting the nutritional value of school lunches. The minimum standards, like reducing the size of hamburger patties by 25% wasn't an attempt to downsize nutritional value - it was an attempt to set a minimum standard and a ham handed attempt to reduce waste.
Unfortunately, it became a target for Democratic demagoguery and the food Nazi's (activists) went totally ballistic. The new regulations were withdrawn and eventually a more sensible "offer and serve" policy put in place where out of five choices, kids could refuse two. This was a much better way to track what kids liked and thus be served.
So all said and done right? Nope. Clinton tried it again in 1993 when his USDA Secretary Mike Espy proposed salsa as a vegetable on the logic that it contained onions, peppers, tomato and other substances that could be called vegetables or fruits. Same thing happened.
2004, a circuit court judge ruled that new USDA regulations classifying batter coated french fries a fresh vegetable.
There is a history here of Republicans tinkering with the school lunch program. Why that is I don't know, but there it is.
Waste of time? Yeah - waste of time. Sadly though, it is human nature to do the easy stuff first and the hard stuff later - usually right up to the deadline for completion. The problem with Congress, is that this effect is magnified.
And it's just silly. You would think that they would learn from history that doing nonsense like this would backfire on them but they keep on doing it any - usually in ten year increments. :>)
“This article was commissioned …”
Back in the day, that meant somebody paid another somebody to diatribe against or for something. Just saying.
Sigh. Of course.
However, I could post (and did post one other in comments) which stipulate the same POINT. I know this was a diatribe against Republicans. So what?
The same diatribe can be issued against Democrats for voting on similar subjects over the years.
I'm less concerned about the 'which party' and more concerned about the "why the hell is this even being voted on".
Of course, to partisan hacks, they miss that point and focus on the who and not the why.
How can you even dream of believing anything Congress says or promotes, when they insist on passing a mandate against incandescent bulbs, which have been a benign and beautiful presence in our lives for 100 years? What they've done is to force us to seek alternative ways to acquire incandescents, hoping that Mexico will develop a thriving black market where we can still obtain incandescents. The 'short and curlies'. [compact fluorescents] have so many flaws [glary light, damage to art works, ruinously expensive, loaded with mercury] that consumers in the free market society had already said *no thanks*. So what did our Congress do? Passed a law that we couldn't buy incandescents any more... a devil's bargain between Nancy Pelosi who wanted GE's fat check for her campaign fund.
Amazon is still selling incandescents, and delivering them to your doorstep too. Better load up, in case we lose the election next year. I'm afraid that there are enough ignorant twits in our electorate that like lemmings are willing to follow our deeply flawed President over the cliff and into the Wilderness of another four years of corrupt decision making.