At The End Of My Rope

Two days ago I wrote about McDonald’s installing televisions in their restaurants.  On that topic I had taken the process and understand approach.  It was inconceivable to me that McDonald’s would do something like that with the obesity epidemic in this country, but I also know that they are running a business and will do what they can to keep people in their establishments and ordering food.  We operate in a capitalist society and they are doing nothing more than exercising their right to make a profit.  It is up to the citizens to choose to not eat there.

Just when I thought that it couldn’t get worse than that, it did.  It got infinitely worse with the news that came across my screen yesterday morning.  As I was watching my stream on HootSuite I saw a tweet that said:  This Is Why Americans Will Always Be Fat.  I assumed it was because of some processed food and was intrigued.  When I clicked the link I was astonished.  I was dumbfounded and nearly sick to my stomach.

I didn’t know what to do so I started typing this post.  I  typed and typed and typed.  I deleted and deleted and deleted.  I went back and forth so many times.  There was a lot of profanity, but I took a page from my process of the McDonald’s post and decided to think clearly about this.  The problem is that there is no clear way to look at this topic.  I cannot, for the life of me, fathom the thought process behind what was decided by the people that we elect to help protect us and our children.

In case you don’t know the Government decided that pizza is a vegetable.  Before you post a comment about Congress being under Republican control:   SAVE IT!  I don’t want to hear that the Elephants or the Donkeys are to blame.  There is no blame to be placed, but instead save that energy and write and call your Congressman that you will not vote for them in the next election if they don’t reverse this bill.  It is purely absurd to classify pizza as a vegetable and that is the stance we should be taking and not one of blaming a political party.

Let’s think about this for a moment.  A pizza is defined as a vegetable by the Government.  Most people know that we should be eating 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  So a person that walks into a pizza place and orders a regular cheese pie can eat all 8 slices and claim that they had 8 servings of vegetables.  Really!  You say, but Jason who would do that.  Take a look around.  Waistlines are bulging so it is happening.  There is a reason we have Super Big Gulps and Triple Cheeseburgers, and the Super Size option.  Businesses are here to make money and they would not create a product, or keep a product around that wasn’t generating a profit so it is happening.

Let’s look at it this way:

Margherita Pizza from Pizza Hut (per slice): 270 calories, 12g Fat, 27g Carbs, 12g Protein.

Regular Cheese Pizza from Cici’s (per slice): 152 calories, 5g Fat, 20g Carbs, 7g Protein.

Brookyln Style Pizza from Domino’s (per slice): 240 calories, 10g Fat, 27g Carbs, 12g Protein.

Little Ceaser’s Pizza (per slice): 200 calories, 7g Fat, 25g Carbs, 10g Protein.

150 calories would be the least amount of calories you could get from one slice of pizza from a chain establishment.  I cup of broccoli is 31 calories.  1 cup of spinach is 7 calories.  1 cup of mushrooms is 15 calories.  I think you get my point here.

Let’s look at it from a different perspective.  I am not a farmer, nor do I pretend to be one, but vegetables come out of the ground.  Wikipedia shows that the word vegetable is defined as follows: The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant.

I cannot figure out how pizza is an edible plant or part of another plant.  The powers that be decided that pizza has enough tomato paste to qualify it as a vegetable.  I guess we should overlook the pepperoni on the pizza and the calories that brings.  Maybe the dough that it is on should be overlooked and the amount of carbs in that.  How about the fact that this was pushed through so that frozen food companies can continue to supply our schools and our children with frozen pizza.  You know what is in frozen pizza?  It isn’t 100% natural since they need to be able to freeze and re-heat as well as ship these products to these schools.  What are these guys thinking?

The claim is that the law is over-reaching and costly.  Costly?  How about the health care costs that continue to sky-rocket?  How about the fact that some Americans are going under the knife for heart surgery, or now the lap-band phenomena.  These are all costs to the taxpayer.  I would rather my money be spent on growing a potato then paying for surgery that can be avoided if we ate smarter.  I cannot believe that this is even a discussion still.  I cannot believe that I’m writing a post to show the Government that pizza is NOT a vegetable.

I can’t take it anymore.  I am at my wit’s end.  We are a super-power.  An example for the rest of the world and yet we allow a business decision to influence our government.  How is that acting as a leader?  How?  I am so beyond words I don’t know where to turn to first.

I will start with our ability to reach out to our Government officials.  I will find out which Texas Congressman voted in approval for this and contact them.  I hope you will join me and fight to have this repealed.  To make it easier for you here is a link to the House of Representatives and to the Senate.

What Are Your Thoughts On Pizza As A Vegetable?

UPDATE:  Here are a few links to how votes were cast on HR 2112:

Washington Post:     http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/112/senate/1/votes/193/

GovTrack:     http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=s2011-194

 

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Comments

  1. Jen says:

    This can’t even be true. It’s almost like a Saturday Night Live Sketch (except not funny) I am finding it hard to believe and will have to look this up. I mean what’s next? Skittles are fruit? Milk Duds dairy?
    Jen recently posted..Racecations: Where in the world are you running?My Profile

  2. Beth says:

    If I wash it down with some orange soda, does that count as fruit and vegetable servings for the day?

    Seriously, there is no person on the planet that can ACTUALLY think pizza is a vegetable. I would really like to find out which lobby paid congress off to pass this bill. Maybe it was like a test to see how stupid people will make themselves look for campaign contributions. FAIL, america.
    Beth recently posted..Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon 2009 (Throwback Race Report)My Profile

  3. Matt Oravec says:

    Yes… I am ashamed of my country and my government. Honestly, they did pass this, and honestly, I am dumbfounded.

    I guess we thought the kids were getting lazier and playing video games 24/7, but with “leaders” and “role models” like that… uhhhhh lets fix this problem at the SOURCE!
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Race Director: Heather and Matty OMy Profile

  4. BDD says:

    I thought the yumminess of pizza had its own food category of their own!!!

    I know this is a serious post, but pizza is sooooooo good. pizzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaa!!! mmmmmmm!!!!

    Yes its ridicolus that it is labeled as a veggie
    BDD recently posted..Weekly RamblingsMy Profile

  5. I read this article this morning, totally thought of you. First off I think it’s crazy that we rely on the government.. the GOVERNMENT to tell us what is, “Appropriate” to eat, how to eat, how often to eat and what is good for us. SERIOUSLY????? How is people have no common sense! Secondly the food they serve that is provided by the government for children is CRAP! Those people are simply opening cans and boxes and heating it up. The simple… well kids won’t eat healthy stuff reasoning is sad. Put out ONLY healthy food, and eventually the kids will make the right choice. But if you put pizza next to carrot sticks, well duh!!!!!
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Nora – funny you mention that you thought of me because I thought of you when I saw the post yesterday. I immediately thought of how you raise your children and your feelings about this topic. It is bananas, just absolutely bananas to think that this is even being voted on. I mean the people at the the companies are doing what they need to do to make money and I get that, but when they go to bed at night do they feel comforted by the fact that they are pushing this through? Are THEY feeding their children two slices of that garbage the produce and say that they just gave their kids two servings of vegetables?

  6. I know people probably get sick of hearing me, but maybe just maybe one person will hear us.
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  7. Our favorite Tuesday night family activity you ask?
    Why we go to McDonalds for a round of big macs, jumbo fries, milk shakes, apple pies while we watch Biggest Loser of course!!!
    OneHourIronman recently posted..I’ve got nothingMy Profile

  8. This pisses me off beyond anything!!!!!!!!!! Childhood obesity is an epidemic!!!! Grr. pizza–a vegetable?! A buck saved in the elementary cafeteria multiplies 1000-fold later in life. Horrible.
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..Would you rather…? No. 21 "Biggest Loser Theme"My Profile

  9. Jeff Irvin says:

    Here is the real problem: The Government should not even be involved in this issue. Tell me where in the Constitution it gives Congress the right to pass a law like this?

    Don’t waste your time searching b/c you won’t find it.

    We can argue all day long over the ruling but the fact is that is not where the argument should begin. It should begin at the fact that these fools in Washington are once again overreaching and violating that old piece of parchment that most of them view as irrelevant.

    See, they all believe we are too stupid to take care of ourselves. The term Personal Responsibility is something they just utter during campaign speeches. It sounds good but none of them actually believe in the term Personal Responsibility. If they did then this law never even would have been considered. Parents would be deciding what goes into a school lunch.

    You want to know exactly where to start – Blow up the Department of Education. Period. We close this multi-Billion dollar tax revenue sucking waste of Federal resources and we take away the Congressional power they have to regulate the behavior of our schools.

    And let me give you my rebuttal to the objection that will come from the above statement: “Oh Jeff, that is crazy – how can we educate our children without the Dept of Education?”

    The Dept of Education began under Jimmy Carter in 1980. It is a relatively new Federal Department. Do you think children did not go to school before 1980? Before 1980 the public education of your children was overseen from the State and Local levels and this is how it should be. You, as parents, should have the ability to influence the direction of the schools where you live and pay taxes. The Feds got involved and tried to standardize the US School system and in doing so took the power out of the taxpayers hands and placed it squarely in the laps of the 535 idiots in Washington. This power needs to be taken from them and it needs to be done by abolishing the Fed Dept of Ed.

    Oh, and in addition to the Federal Dept of Ed each state has their own Dept of Ed. Seems rather redundant huh? That’s because it is. And let me ask the naysayers this? Since 1980 and the creation of the Dept of ED how do our public school rank in comparison to other nations? Don’t even have to answer it do it? Centralized planning does not work.

    Your votes are important. This is a prime example of why you need to vote for candidates that are against larger government.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Random Shit …My Profile

  10. marlene says:

    Truly mind-boggling. And disgusting. Are we encouraged to eat vegetables simply to say that we did? NO, it’s for the NOURISHMENT they provide. I would love for someone to explain how a slice of pizza will provide anywhere near the nourishment of a serving of ANY other vegetable. It’s simply not the case. Even if we ignore the dough and the cheese and the fatty meats, the amount of actual vegetables on a standard slice of pizza (aside from veggie-loaded, which – let’s face it – the obese are probably not ordering) is MINISCULE. A couple tablespoons of PROCESSED tomato paste?????

    Keep fighting.
    marlene recently posted..MOVED!My Profile

  11. I had this conversation – essentially conceptually verbatim – with Ian’s teacher. The food service in the HB school system (which by the way is a generally well regarded system in my area) is a joke. She looked at me like i had 2 heads – clearly didn’t give a bleep. But then again, by looking at her its unfortunately safe to say she doesn’t care about much healthwise.

    Might as well give these kids 8 snickers bars a day – at least they’ll be able to positively ID what they are eating. Really sad.

    Luckily ian likes to pack lunch…

  12. Mandy says:

    Yup. RIDICULOUS
    Mandy recently posted..Ch-ch-changesMy Profile

  13. Jon says:

    Jason, awesome post.

    You hit something regarding the cost of healthcare down the line. It reminds me of a European style tax system with their “VAT”. A new tax system has been proposed here in the states as well, and it goes like this: All Taxes on goods will be paid up front in a manner that you will pay your year’s worth of tax through bought goods, rather than through payroll and end of year tax. Ok, there are a LOT of loopholes in there, but my point is this: The same amount is going to be spend on a person’s healthcare of their lifetime. Should they spend it up front on food? Or later down the line on heart surgery?

    I feel like if they spent the extra $$$ now on quality foods, a person would have a better quality of life and would spend less AND be less of a burden on the rest of the tax payers.

    I think natural selection will take its toll one day far into the future. Or the movie “Idiocracy” will become true (if it hasn’t already)

    Sigh…..

    Thanks for posting Jason!
    Jon recently posted..Random Friday FactsMy Profile

  14. Chuck says:

    What about a serving of dairy or grains? Does the pizza count as that as well?
    Chuck recently posted..ITU Long Course Triathlon World ChampionshipsMy Profile

  15. I think you know I’m disgusted by this… And the fact that french fries are a vegetable. But darn it PARENTS, there is no rule that your kids have to buy lunch. Take responsibility, get off your butt, get some real food at the store, and send your kids to school with a healthy lunch. Period. With that said, a lot of kids at our school bring their lunch, and I’ve seen those lunches and pizza as a vegetable would be a step up. Come on parents, these are your children. Step up.
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  16. lindsay says:

    i don’t know if i should tell josh this… he already claims he’s eating healthy when he has potatoes (fries namely) b/c “they’re a vegetable”. he loooves pizza and he would LOVE to tell me that he’s eating his vegetables.

    i’m also with jeff – the gov’t has their dang hands in everything. 99.9% of it, they don’t need to be in. (umm hello NFL and college football? why do we need congress in there?)
    lindsay recently posted..milking itMy Profile

  17. Colleen says:

    I saw this while I was on the bike, suffering through some intervals. I literally stopped pedaling and had to pick my jaw up off the ground. They literally went on to say that it’s because of the 2T of tomato sauce. 2 TABLESPOONS???? Oye ve!

    Just makes me sick…

    • CTER says:

      It is crazy to think that these guys are spending time on this. I mean 2 Tbsp of tomato paste constitutes a vegetable is bananas (that’s a fruit) as is the tomato that they are now declaring a vegetable.

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