Earlier this year the Obama administration proposed a bill to make lunches healthier for students. The proposal would require that schools cut back on "unhealthy" sodium-packed foods such as pizza and french fries and integrate more whole grains. Republicans thought otherwise and loved the tomato-paste-as-a-vegetable idea, stating the changes would "prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations and provide greater flexibility for local school districts to improve the nutritional quality of meals."
In other words, "Eat whatever the hell you want, kiddos."
As reported by MSNBC, here are the provisions:
- Block the Agriculture Department from limiting starchy vegetables, including corn and peas, to two servings a week. The rule was intended to cut down on french fries, which some schools serve daily.
- Allow USDA to count two tablespoons of tomato paste as a vegetable, as it does now. The department had attempted to require that only a half-cup of tomato paste could be considered a vegetable — too much to put on a pizza. Federally subsidized lunches must have a certain number of vegetables to be served.
- Require further study on long-term sodium reduction requirements set forth by the USDA guidelines.
- Require USDA to define "whole grains" before they regulate them. The rules would require schools to use more whole grains.
I guess we can all feel less bad about those 3am slices. Hey, we're just getting our daily vegetables/fruit.