Rep. Polis proposes bill to ensure schools don’t treat pizza as a vegetable

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, May 14, 2012 22:06 EDT
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School children eat pizza for lunch (Flickr/Judy Baxter)
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Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the SLICE Act on Monday to prevent pizza from being counted as a vegetable in federally funded school lunch menus.

“Agribusinesses should never dictate the quality of school meals,” Polis said. “Big food companies have their priorities, which include selling cheap, unhealthy foods at high profits. But parents and schools have their priorities; making sure our kids eat right because research shows a clear connection between nutrition and student performance in school.”

Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a rule aimed to limit — but not eliminate — french fries and pizza on school lunch menus.

According to school lunch regulations, an eighth of a cup of tomato paste has as much nutritional value as half a cup of vegetables. The proposed regulation would have made a half cup of tomato paste, which is too much to put on a slice of pizza, count as a half cup of vegetables.

But Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee rejected the new rules, painting them as “burdensome and costly regulations.”

The SLICE Act would reverse Congress’ decision, allowing the USDA to count 1/8 of a cup of tomato paste as 1/8 of a cup, implement science-based sodium reduction targets and set a whole grain requirement.

[Image via Judy Baxter]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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