by Marion Nestle
Nov 16 2011

It’s official! Pizza is a vegetable!

The word is out.  Congress caved in under pressure from lobbyists on the school nutrition standards (see yesterday’s post).

Pizza is now officially a vegetable!

Here’s what the press is saying:

Cartoonists: get to work.

Additions, November 17

School meals are a high-profit market for major food corporations….Thus in the last year, powerful food companies, agriculture lobbies, and various coalitions of lawmakers have allied in battles over each food area that USDA sought to restrict. This has included the creation of slick PR campaigns.

For instance, ConAgra and the giant, privately held Schwans, which sell millions of processed school meals, including pizza, have funded the “Coalition for Sustainable School Meal Programs,” which includes a website with a campaign called “Fix the Reg,” asking parents and other “interested parties” to contact USDA and lawmakers to demand changes to the school nutrition rule.  This group was especially interested in keeping USDA’s current designation of tomato paste as a “vegetable” intact, something many nutritionists have argued makes poor sense.

Addition, November 18:  For even deeper background, see what Marian Burros has to say in Obamafoodorama.

Addition, November 22:  President Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act into law.

SEC. 743. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement an interim final or final rule regarding nutrition programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) that—

(1) requires crediting of tomato paste and puree based on volume;

(2) implements a sodium reduction target beyond Target I, the 2-year target, specified in Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, ‘‘Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs’’ (FNS–2007–0038, RIN 0584–AD59) until the Secretary certifies that the Department has reviewed and evaluated relevant scientific studies and data relevant to the relationship of sodium reductions to human health; and

(3) establishes any whole grain requirement without defining ‘‘whole grain.’’



[...] blog de Marion Nestle, Food Politics, rapporte que « It’s official! Pizza is a vegetable! ». Le Congrès s'est effondré sous la pression des lobbyistes sur [...]

  • James
  • November 16, 2011
  • 4:37 pm

They really don’t care do they?

  • Maulik
  • November 16, 2011
  • 5:35 pm

HERE Is a great example WHY THE GOVERNMENT SUCKS RIGHT NOW!!!. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS INSTEAD OF SOMETHING IMPORTANT.F@@K. this is what OUR government is doing, INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON UNEMPLOYMENT, and all the other important things that is happening as we speak. AAAA. . ARE YOU SERIOUS. what money can do, it can turn pizza, into a vegetable, thanks to the money that they have, they can pay, the government to get anything passed. Lets see we should ask a vote, and see how many people think that pizza is a veg. The closest thing to pizza, is pizza. instead of pizza they should have pasta in school, good for carbs, and better then pizza. hahahah the government & the big companies, is taking a s#it on a plate and serving to the kids as pizza. Cheers. THANKS LOBBYISTS @sso’s.

[...] by Marion Nestle [...]

[...] how due to pressure from lobbiests, pizza is able to be classified as a vegetable in the US! Click here to read [...]

[...] And an in-depth-er look at that issue from Michele Simon that examines the politics of the whole deal. (via) [...]

[...] It’s official! Pizza is a vegetable!, Food Politics – The word is out.  Congress caved in under pressure from lobbyists on the school nutrition standards and pizza now counts as a vegetable.  Just ridiculous.  (And yet another reason for homeschooling — keep Nora as far away from cafeteria “food” as possible!) [...]

[...] Show Links For 11/19/2011 By Rob On November 19, 2011 · Leave a Comment It’s Official! Pizza is a Vegetable [...]

this goes to show you what the government does,
they really do not care ,exept to be reelected and taking care of special interests.
We should fire them all.

  • Basil Glew-Galloway
  • November 23, 2011
  • 8:38 pm

It’s not democracy- it’s DiGiorno!

[...] Under pressure from potato growers and suppliers of school pizza, Congress weighed in and overruled the USDA on both counts. The result: pizza now counts as a vegetable. [...]

  • Rich
  • April 12, 2012
  • 12:20 pm

wow, I’m astonished by this! I personally think (and any sane person should) that this is ridiculous, pretty speechless at this.

[...] It’s official! Pizza is a vegetable! ( Share this:More Leave a Comment by dianaleahwilson on June 22, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in Cooking Tagged Basil, capers, Nutrition, Pasta, Pizza, Recipe, Salad, tomatoes, Vegetable [...]

[...] learned that it could get Congress to do what it wanted.  Even a dab of tomato paste on pizza now counts as a vegetable serving in school [...]

[…] is, no doubt, how pizza came to be counted as a vegetable in the school lunch […]

[…] is, no doubt, how pizza came to be counted as a vegetable in the school lunch […]

[…] is, no doubt, how pizza came to be counted as a vegetable in the school lunch […]

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