I have what bread-eating, pasta-loving, think-dairy-is-good-for-you would call an extreme diet (with a little “d”,) Congress is dead-wrong on this move.

At what point did we decide that an empty calorie meal is better for our nation’s children?

I get it. It’s easy to heat up hundreds of cardboard like-nutrient negative pizzas and flavor and vitamin-less french fries for hungry kids, but when did we decide that the future of our civilization deserves, “easy to heat up” and “cost effective,” rather than “fresh,” “nutritious,” “protein-packed?”

I’m reminded of Jamie Oliver’s food revolution and the resistance he gets town after town.

‘Rents listen up! Occupy your kid’s cafeterias! or at least, pack them a lunch that won’t cause a coronary before the 5th grade.

Now, read this.

Healthier School Lunches? No Thank You, Says Congress

By  Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is pizza with tomato sauce a vegetable? Apparently yes, according to Congress, which on Monday blocked legislation that would have made school lunches healthier.

In their final version of a spending bill that includes planning for the $11 billion National School Lunch Program, House and Senate committee members blocked or delayed major proposals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that aimed to toughen nutritional standards for students’ subsidized meals.

PHOTOS: From Farm to Fork

The USDA proposals — the first update to school-lunch nutritional guidelines in 15 years — suggested cutting back on salt; reducing starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, lima beans and peas; and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables. The proposals also called for setting a maximum calorie allowance for meals (currently, there is only a calorie minimum) and installing more specific targets for dairy and whole grain content in school lunches. The USDA also proposed not counting tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable.

Given that a third of American children are overweight or obese, and that they get roughly 40% of their daily calories during school lunch, nutrition experts have long advocated for an overhaul of the federally subsidized meals dished out to 31 million students each year.

Not surprisingly, frozen pizza makers and potato growers pushed back on the USDA proposals. Schools also complained that the changes would have cost too much money, and some politicians and school administrators said the government shouldn’t be in the business of telling school districts that they can’t serve specific foods.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/16/healthier-school-lunches-no-thank-you-says-congress/print/#ixzz1e7U6Eckz