Monday, 21 November 2011
Last week created an uproar after news broke that the United States Congress has decided the tomato sauce in pizza qualifies it to be a vegetable. In this decision, Congress as rejected the proposed new USDA guidelines for school lunches that would have increased the quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables served in school cafeterias across the country.
Many arguments have been made questioning the logic of this decision, mainly: If pizza is a vegetable based on tomato sauce, then isn't lasagna a vegetable as well? A McDonald's burger is loaded with tomato and lettuce, so is that a vegetable too?
The Huffington Post outlines the ingredients for the "traditional 4x6 school pizza" made by ConAgra and the findings are simple: Tomato sauce in pizza is not made of tomato alone--there are many other ingredients.
But Sarah Kiff of The Washington Post accurately points out that Congress didn't explicitly state that pizza is vegetable--that part just might be creative journalism or "reading between the lines." Kiff points out that Congress didn't debate pizza or vegetables and the bill doesn't mention it at all. The debate was how many tablespoons of tomato would qualify it to be one serving of vegetable. The answer is that one-eighth of a cup of tomato paste would qualify as half a serving of vegetables. Here's a nutrition label that Kiff shares in her article showing that one-eighth of a cup of tomato paste (left) versus a half a cup of apples (right) doesn't have too much variation:
What do you think? Are people over reacting by the decision made by Congress or is this uproar valid?