by Marion Nestle

Search results: pizza

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.’’

 

Apr 3 2010

Price influences purchases of sodas and pizza

If you are wondering why the idea of soda taxes causes so much controversy, try this: research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine estimates that a $1.00 price increase on soda and pizza would reduce daily calorie consumption by nearly 200 per day and would help people lose weight.

Or, as USA Today puts it, an 18% increase in the price of soda would be associated with a weight loss of 5 pounds per year.

Aug 6 2008

Pizza!

I figure I might as well have some fun with my new column in the San Francisco Chronicle. The column is a Q and A, and the first sets of Qs came from the editors. This one is about pizza, things. They tell me the next questions will come from readers, and the plan is to run the column once a month.

Nov 2 2007

Another E. coli recall: this time, frozen pizzas

Would you believe 5 million pizzas? 5 million! That’s a lot of pepperoni.

I’ll say it again: how bad does it have to get? We know how to produce safe food. If companies aren’t producing safe food, it’s because they are leaving it up to customers to cook foods properly, cutting corners, or just don’t care–and because nobody is making them. I’ll say it again: How bad does it have to get to get Congress to call for a farm-to-table food safety system in this country, one that requires companies to follow standard food safety procedures, test to make sure they are working, and pay dearly if they are not.

Aug 29 2007

What a Concept: Oreo Pizza!

I am indebted to Michele Simon for sending a photo of this flier for the latest innovation in home-delivered food–Oreo Dessert Pizza. I’m sorry I can’t figure out how to make the photo bigger so you can see it better, but the way this works is that with any online pizza order you get a dessert pizza worth $3.99 tossed in.   And, if you order two 20-ounce sodas, you get slap-on cooler wrappers, whatever those might be.  The flier doesn’t disclose Nutrition Facts, so you have to guess the calories.  Hint: Lots. Somebody try this and report back please.

This flier

Nov 9 2021

Plastics in the food system: a big problem, getting worse

Last week, I ran across three items related to plastics in our food system.  The big issues: waste, pollution, and harmful chemicals.

(1) Fortunately, Civil Eats has done all the work and produced this must-read compendium of articles.

Of all the issues we cover, one in particular has all of us at Civil Eats deeply concerned: the widespread overuse of plastic in food and agriculture. From the myth of recycling and the millions of tons of plastic in the oceans, to the abundance of “forever chemicals” and microplastics making their way into our food and our soil, plastics are contaminating the food chain, polluting the environment, and making us sick. And while there are important ways individuals can address the problem, they often feel like a drop in the bucket when compared to the ways industry is shaping the narrative, increasing the amount of plastic being produced, and stalling or opposing regulation.

First Look: The Future of Plastic-Free Grocery Shopping

The Follow-Up

The Check-In: A Conversation with the Peak Plastic Foundation

A Roadmap to Plastic-Free Grocery Shopping

What We’re Reading

(2) I also ran across this notice from Food Dive:  “Coca-Cola, Unilever among top plastic polluters, report says.”  This excellent summary refers to The #BrandAudit2021Report from the group, Break Free From Plastic.

The report points out that this is the fourth year in a row Coca-Cola is the #1 plastic polluter.  Here are the report’s top ten.

(3)  Phthlates.  In her Technically Food newsletter, Larissa Zimberoff talks about potentially harmful chemicals that leach into food from plastics, particularly plastic gloves.

The study found that pthalates (an industrial chemical) were found in food samples taken from chains including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Chipotle. These included DnBP, which has been linked to a heightened risk for asthma, and DEHP, which has been linked to an increased risk of reproductive problems. Other problems: disruption to the endocrine system (yes, that’s where diabetes comes from) and behavioral disorders in children…The main source of pthalates in food are the ubiquitous plastic gloves worn in food handling, but also in packaging and processing equipment. 

And a new study looks at phthlates in fast food.  Here’s what the Washington Post says about it:

new study out Tuesday reportsthat far too often, small amounts of industrial chemicals called phthalates (pronounced THA-lates), which are used to make plastics soft, have been found in samples of food from popular outlets including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Chipotle….The study found harmful chemicals in a majority of samples collected. Phthalates are linked to health problems, including disruption to the endocrine system, and fertility and reproductive problems, as well as increased risk for learning, attention and behavioral disorders in children.

Aug 26 2021

Keeping up with plant-based substitutes: not easy

The marketplace for plant-based meat and dairy substitutes is booming, and attracting tons of venture capital.

It also is attracting controversy.

Here are some of the new products and those in the works.

And the latest business news.

Mar 18 2020

Help save school nutrition standards. Deadline extended to April 22

Here’s something useful to do while waiting out the Coronavirus crisis: help preserve school nutrition standards.Dea

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has organized a call for action.

The USDA recently proposed changes that would weaken school nutrition. The latest proposal would allow students to choose pizza, French fries, and cookies regularly in place of a healthier school lunch. It would allow more French fries in place of carrots in school lunch, more fried hash browns in breakfast, and less fruit in some school breakfasts. These changes are on top of the 2018 school meal rollbacks that locked in unsafe levels of sodium and reduced whole grains.

Deadline for comments extended until April 22.

Here is what you can do to help:

  • Submit a comment to the docket here.  If your organization needs  model (here is one).
  • Get your social networks to generate individual comments. You can use CSPI’s online alert for this
  • Sign a group letter by Friday, March 20. (download the letter here.)
  • Spread the word through social media. CSPI provides some model Tweets:
    • @SecretarySonny @USDA announced plans to allow kids to choose pizza, French fries, and cookies regularly in place of a healthier school lunch—jeopardizing progress on school nutrition and could decrease meal participation, school revenue, and exacerbate stigma. http://bit.ly/protectschoolmeals
    • @USDA’s own data shows nutritional quality of school meals significantly increased, participation highest when meals are healthiest, and food waste has not increased. Yet @SecretarySonny announced plans to make school meals less healthy. http://bit.ly/protectschoolmeals
    • Hold the fries please: under @SecretarySonny @USDA’s plans, kids could get an additional eight cups of French fries over the week. Schools could serve potatoes every day for breakfast in place of fruit and more potatoes at lunch in place of carrots, cucumbers, and other veggies. http://bit.ly/protectschoolmeals
    • Breakfast in the classroom just got less healthy. Under @SecretarySonny @USDA’s plans, kids would have decreased access to whole fruit and could get more juice instead. Kids already drink plenty of juice and do not consume enough whole fruit. http://bit.ly/protectschoolmeals
    • Cakes, cookies, and donuts for little kids? Join us in stopping @SecretarySonny @USDA to allow grain-based desserts into child care and afterschool programs. http://bit.ly/protectschoolmeals
  • CSPI also provides a model Facebook post:
    • The Trump Administration announced plans to roll back school nutrition. They’d allow students to choose pizza, French fries, and cookies regularly in place of a healthier school lunch. They would also allow more French fries in place of carrots in school lunch, more fried hash browns in breakfast, and less fruit in some school breakfasts. Tell the Trump administration: stop harming kids’ health. Please join us and our public health partners in urging the administration not to weaken nutrition for school children. http://bit.ly/protectschoolmeals