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School Lunches, Pizza as Vegetable, and Our Own Healthy and Cheap Dinner

November 17, 2011

I think it is safe to say that our public dialogue about food is a little strange. My favorite latest debate is occurring on the Hill, where representatives are supporting their lobbyists friends through claiming tomato paste counts as a vegetable serving. With this claim, pizza counts as a vegetable item, and french fries as well, which allows processed food industries to continue to sell to one of their biggest buyers: Public Schools. The politicians argue that it would be too expensive to serve actual vegetables, which means children on the public school lunch program will be eating plenty of pizza, tater tots, and french fries for the near future.

Seriously? So the childhood obesity problem, which can be linked to issues of poverty, and poorer children depend on their lunches at school, will not be an expensive problem in the future? The shortsighted approach just leads the generations behind to clean up the decisions of today, for the sake of processed food lobbying.

Besides, the USDA says that continuing to serve pizza and fries veggies won’t really save much money, so it seems that yet again, giving children whole foods is not a bad idea. Click here for the article in the Washington Post.

Well, tonight we had a pretty affordable dinner, Swiss Chard, Portabella Mushroom, and Squash Tacos with Corn Esquites, and even had a visit from Nana. Based on a recipe I tried to imitate from Rosa Mexicana last year, it is a great quick meal, you must try this dish. A few veggies go along way, this dish serves eight and costs about $1.47 per person to make. We served it to my mom, and will be enjoying for lunch tomorrow!


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