LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Congress was under fire last year for its plan to make a slice of pizza a serving of vegetables at your child’s school cafeteria.
Now one Colorado lawmaker wants to make sure that isn’t the case and put pizza back in its place.
“Everyone really knows that pizza is not a fresh vegetable and, frankly, tomato is a fruit…so how crazy is the whole thing?” says Ann Cooper, the Boulder Valley Food Services Director.
Congress says the tomato paste on a slice of pizza is enough nutrition to consider it a service of vegetables.
“We’re introducing a bill—yes, it will take a law of the land to restore the common sense,
says Congressman Jared Polis of Boulder.
Polis introduced the bill at Louisville Middle School Monday afternoon in hopes of getting the measure included in this year’s farm bill.
“It`s a crazy state of affairs where it actually takes a law of the land to say the common sense notion that cheese pizza doesn`t count as a vegetable,” Congressman Polis says.
Polis and other supporters blame what they call “special interest politics.”
“I think it’s about lobbyists,” says Cooper. “Who wins? The tomato lobby, the frozen food lobby and the pizza lobby.”
Some students at Louisville Middle School say putting fresh veggies back on the menu would be a welcome sight.
“Some kids really like vegetables and they`re getting upset because they`re not serving enough for their daily nutrition,” says student Aiden Vernon.
Cooper says the change would be an important lesson for kids’ life-long nutrition.
“We know there is an obesity problem in America and we know the solution is to get kids to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. So when we teach kids that pizza is a vegetable we`re undermining their health for maybe their whole lives.”