What does childhood nutrition matter next to the frozen food industry's agenda? Who needs leafy green vegetables when you have French fries? The GOP controlled Congress this week declared that pizza was actually a vegetable and should therefore be included in school lunch programs. How come? Because the industry says that that about a quarter-cup of tomato paste on a slice of pizza can count as a vegetable serving.
Actually, tomato is a fruit but that's not the point. The New York Times reports that Big Food had spent $5.6 million lobbying politicians to stop them tightening up rules for the School Lunch Program proposed by the US Department of Agriculture.
The move is actually an attack on the Obama administration, which passed the Child Nutrition Act in 2010 to improve school food and permit more children to qualify for free meals. There's a political agenda here.
This is a big victory for Big Food. Everyone has ignored kids nutrition, and that will only preserve the income gap in the US. Handing control of school lunches over to the frozen food industry is significant at a time when one in five American children live in poverty.