LAST YEAR THE US Congress ruled that the pizza could be deemed a vegetable depending on the amount of tomato paste in the pizza sauce.
Now the aptly-named SLICE Act (the School Lunch Improvements for Children’s Education) has been introduced in response to the American lawmakers decision.
The bizarre ruling came about for political reasons so that tomato paste on pizza could continue to be classified as a full vegetable serving in the federal school lunch programme.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Congressman Jared Polis, the chief sponsor of the bill, has now stated that pizza is not a vegetable.
“Pizza certainly has its place in school meals, but equating it with broccoli, carrots and celery seriously undermines this nation’s efforts to support children’s health and their ability to learn because of better school nutrition,” he said.
He said in a letter to his colleagues seeking support that pizza’s nutritional content should be accurately reflected in school meal standards.
Polis’ bill would allow the department to count 1/8 of a cup of tomato paste as 1/8 of a cup of vegetables instead of as half a cup of vegetables.
Last year the Department of Agriculture, which oversees subsidised school meals, was seeking to restrict pizza, chips and starchy vegetables from the menu for school children in a bid to combat child obesity.
However, lobbied by companies in the frozen food industry and pizza-makers who were fearful that pizzas would be removed from school lunch menus, Congress voted that pizza was indeed a vegetable.