As a way to help promote healthy eating among children, US Rep. Jared Polis has introduced legislation which would redefine the Department of Agriculture’s classification of pizza as a vegetable in school lunches.
Polis said the tomato sauce used in pizza isn’t enough to qualify it as a vegetable and he wants the USDA to implement new nutrition standards for the food.
“Categorizing pizza as a vegetable because of its small amount of tomato paste is exactly the wrong approach, as Type II diabetes rates among children and child obesity continue to climb,” said a release from Polis’ office.
So, Polis introduced legislation called the SLICE Act, which changes how pizza is classified and allows the USDA to set both sodium reduction and whole grain standards.
While Polis is fine with children occasionally eating pizza, he prefers that it be served along with a healthy side dish. According to the Congressman, pressure from frozen food makers accounts for the designation of pizza as a vegetable, and he hopes this new legislation will impose more sensible standards.