From: Jonathan Mariano, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published November 22, 2011 08:22 AM

School Pizza is a Vegetable

Last week, Congress passed a bill that allegedly labels pizza as a vegetable in school lunches. How did pizza spontaneously become a vegetable? Has it always been considered a vegetable? Was it Congress? Was it the USDA? Some report it is because of lobbyists. Although lobbyists do play an influential role, its more so the system of legislation and regulation that creates such strange laws. Can we trust a governmental system that says a pizza is a vegetable?

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A Defining Moment or Not?

Technically speaking, no strict definition of pizza as a vegetable passed Congress. The word pizza does not even appear once in the entire congressional bill (H.R. 2112). It changes nothing about the status quo of naming.

Strangely enough, because of the tomato sauce on pizza, pizza has been considered a vegetable for some time (despite recent notoriety.) The secret to understanding this labeling debacle is in the sauce, specifically the tomato sauce (puree and paste). In January of this year, the USDA proposed regulations which required stricter measuring of tomato sauce. For some odd reason, tomato sauce is credited with a fancy formula that calculates volume, rather than actual volume like other fruit pastes and purees. Actual volume provides more of the good stuff (granted, I would argue that pastes and purees aren’t necessarily healthy.)

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