Don’t worry that Congress spokespeople just conceded that they are on their way to failing to reach any significant debt deal because, over the weekend, those same elected officials came to a monumental bi-partisan conclusion — pizza is now a vegetable. Now we see why Congress’ approval rating is around twelve-percent.
Basically, since pizza has tomato sauce, or paste in this particular case, ConAgra, Schwan, and other huge food industry players “convinced” lawmakers to advocate for pizza’s inclusion on the vegetable list. This move will help save very profitable government contracts, continuing to make the United States Department of Agriculture look tenuous and treacherous. Yes, treacherous!
Schwan is one of the world’s largest purveyors of frozen pizza and pitching for its sauce is Sen. Amy Knobluchar, Democrat of Minnesota, where Schwan is based.
More importantly, this decision sheds a much needed strobe light on corporate influence in our politics. The government time and time again folds under the pressure of lobbying efforts from the largest corporations. In an in-depth look into this egregious measure, the Huffington Post’s Kristin Wartman astutely proclaims:
[T]he government clearly does not control the food Americans eat. Corporations do. In this case ConAgra and Schwan are quite literally determining what the vast majority of our school children will be fed in school cafeterias: A veritable chemical concoction made to look like pizza.
Republicans are constantly screaming that they don’t want anyone, particularly the bureaucrats in the government, to control American’s food, but now we hopefully all can see that they aren’t opposed to everyone — especially Big Food, who keeps their pockets laced with funds, irrespective of how bad the food is these corporations sell to children in lunch lines.
According to the NY Times, the big food companies feel that the new government guidelines that the Obama administration set in motion are too strict, limiting their ability to provide students with low cost meals that they will eat. Many parents deal with the reality of children who hate vegetables or anything nutritionally dense, such as wild rice, fruit, or leafy-greens.
Whose to blame though? The parents, the school boards, the corporations, or the politicians? No one in particular can take the lion share of the blame for, when one looks at the problem at face value, it’s the malfeasant American political machine at work.
But interestingly enough, HuffPost’s Wartman conjured up some damning reports, which suggested food industry purposely tries to capture the tastebuds of children, keeping kids dependent on the addictive trifecta in almost all processed foods — sugar, fat, and salt:
While the food industry insists that it only advertises to children “to influence brand preference,” a study published in the journal Appetite found that the food industry works to, “fundamentally change children’s taste palates to increase their liking of highly processed and less nutritious foods.”
We cannot pretend that corporations are going to look out for the health of our children before the heath of its short-term profits, so we have to force — through legislation written by the people, not politicians or their corporate sponsors — the government to ban all corporate lobbying. We cannot compete fairly with industry executives who have mountains of cash to spend in order to “alter” the menu at our schools. Like I said earlier, this is treacherous!
Sound-Off: Do you think pizza is a vegetable? How do you feel about the eating habits of children?