Is Pizza A Veggie? New York Residents Weigh In As Congress Considers Bill

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The fight over school lunch nutrition has gotten a little strange. Congress is now considering an amendment to an appropriations bill that would give vegetable status to pizza. But no matter how you slice it, some disagree.

You could call it the “defense of pizza act” in congress — a measure designating the sauce on a slice as a veggie. Industry sources admit it is a move to keep pizza in the school lunch mix.

Nutritionists, however, are horrified.

“It really doesn’t make any sense,” Nutritionist Elizabeth DeRobertis told CBS 2’s Lou Youg. “You can’t exchange pizza for broccoli.”

The debate surrounds some members of Congress going after the White House’s school lunch nutrition guidelines.

Lobbyists from the American Frozen Food Institute argue that the amount of sauce currently required by federal regulations for it to qualify as a vegetable is too much and makes for a soggy slice. So they’ve complained to Congress and some members are trying to comply.

“I think it’s a bad decision. I think it’s letting our kids down,” Nutritionist Elyssa Hulbert said. “I think we owe to it to our kids to be thinking more about how to increase the nutritional density of what we offer them.”

The frozen food industry says 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce should be considered a vegetable serving, which is about what you get on a slice. So it’s a veggie they say. New York pizza experts don’t see it.

“It’s bread with sauce and cheese,” said Ricky Colligan, of Sophia’s Pizza in Harrison.

“Its just bread — bread, sauce,” said Blanca Garcia.

But pizza is certainly delicious, even if a little light on nutrients. One 6th grader told Young what he thinks will happen if pizza is declared a veggie.

“We eat the pizza instead of vegetables,” Joshua Garcia said.

Many say it’ll be more of what already goes on in too many school lunchrooms.

The tomato sauce pizza vote could come later this week.

Lobbyists for the potato industry are already pressuring members of Congress about a provision that would limit starchy vegetables — like french fries — in school lunches as well.

Is pizza a vegetable?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

  • CStanton

    I don’t give a rip if it’s a vegetable or not. Pizza tastes good. Broccoli doesn’t. Kids will eat Pizza, which has nutritional value, regardless what you call it. They will throw broccoli in the Friggin’ garbage can! That’s just a fact. Damn, I’m 60 years old and somehow I survived school without an omnipresent nanny state trying to protect me!

  • srsly?

    the sad thing is, tomato’s are fruit, not vegetable’s

  • Baker Red

    Is this the most important thing Congress should be doing?

    • BK628

      Because childhood obesity prevention isn’t important?

      • CStanton

        My job as a parent – not the friggin’ government’s job! Somehow I managed to survive school lunch that not only had Pizza, but (gasp) chocolate milk! (and so did my now grown kids). A slice of pizza at lunch isn’t going to kill a kid.

  • RealFreedom

    The real underlying problem here is the total overdose of lobbyists in Washington. Right now there are at least three permanent lobbyists for every person in Congress, writing the legislation for them as well. It has nothing to do anymore with democracy, common sense nor politics. If “We the People” kicked those out of politics,everything in the USA would soon improve real quickly. Continue like this and soon the children will drop dead in the schoolbenches already.

    Are you aware that one person calling their representative counts for a 1000 people showing their opinion? Have a few people call in and soon their backs will be against te wall voting aginst this kind of nonsense.

    And CBS should not start a debate asking if pizza is a veggie, but they should report on the real problem instead. People want real news, not fake discussions to distract them from the real problems.

  • Pete

    Is this article enough proof that our gov’t has grown too big for it’s own good?

  • wandawray

    I used to think that buying bigger was better, Meal planning is key, so look for the items you’d need to create healthy meals, Plan your meals based on what’s on sale and see if you can find samples from “Get Official Samples” that is even better

  • Jennifer Baratta

    NO Pizza is vegatale not.

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