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General Health

Did You Know That Pizza is a Vegetable?

It's True! Just Ask the US Government...

I've seen some pretty incredible headlines in my time and this one is no different. It seems that the US House of Representatives recently passed a bill that abandons proposals to strip the ridiculous vegetable status given to pizza and limit the frequency of French fries served as school lunch to almost 32 million US school children.

 

It seems that Big Pharma aren't the only big sharks in the corporate feeding frenzy that is America's upper finance echelon... the food manufacturers are just as ruthless. These guys shouldn't really be called food manufacturers because some of the stuff they produce isn’t ‘food’ in my opinion.

Frozen French fries, ready-made pizza and other ‘edible’ substances that no doubt are filled with preservatives, trans fats and who knows what else, are the flagship products of these large corporates.

There’s nothing wrong with successful companies making profit, it’s actually encouraging to see some form of economic growth. However, there’s a clear and distinct line between making profit from honest and ethical methods versus making profits from a sheer blatant disregard for the health and wellbeing of your customers.

The fact that the US government has gone back on its promise to fight against obesity epidemic by allowing this pathetic bill to be passed is beyond me.

Let’s look at the following excerpt from a related article about the topic:

"It's an important victory," said Corey Henry, spokesman for the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). That trade association lobbied Congress on behalf of frozen pizza sellers like ConAgra Foods and Schwan Food and French fry makers McCain Foods and JR Simplot, the latter best known as a supplier to fast-food company McDonald's. "Our concern is that the standards would force companies in many respects to change their products in a way that would make them unpalatable to students," Henry said. Other AFFI members include HJ Heinz, General Mills and Kraft Foods.

With this sort of attitude towards nutrition and health, it’s hardly surprising that learning disabilities, childhood obesity and other serious health ailments on the rise. It’s really sad that profits are more important than the health and wellbeing of the next generation.

It’s makes you wonder how these profits will help pay for the resulting healthcare and ongoing treatment that many of these kids will need in a few years after being subjected to this so-called ‘food’.

It reminds me of a friend I had back in school. He had parents who came from the Mediterranean region (although I don’t where exactly) and they packed him lunch meals that you’ll probably never see today. His lunch meals varied from day to day and included food like sardines, sundried tomatoes, cured ham, olives, bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and loads of other delicious ingredients that made my mouth water. What a lucky guy he was!

Meanwhile, the other kids in my class just stuck with their chocolates, crisps, donuts and soft drinks. It makes one wonder…

What Corey Henry says in the above excerpt just sums up the blinker-viewed mentality of these companies. They’ve brain-washed many people and children into thinking that all food should be deep-fried, full of trans fats and served with French fries. He says that changing the current standards would mean that these companies would have to change their products in such a way that they’ll be unpalatable to students!

Excuse me?! Surely a right-thinking person can’t be serious in thinking that this statement is believable?! It’s like something out of a bad dark comedy! Putting more greens, fruits and vegetables on the menu along with real food that requires proper prep work must be the way forward.

If the students don’t like the taste, then unfortunately it’s still a case of the current policy of ‘take it or leave it’. What about the students who don’t like French fries and the junk food served in schools? Sure, they may be a minority but surely they’ve got a right to get the kind of healthy food they deserve?

Sorry for the anger-drenched words I’m using but this is something I feel really strong about. Remember a time when cigarettes were freely promoted and advocated everywhere? Remember how a small group of people slowly grew into a worldwide protest against the tobacco industry and forced changes?

I’m convinced that the same thing can happen to the food industry. We need change and we need it to start at home with us the parents... because if the government isn’t going to do it, then we’ll have to do it ourselves. It’s 2011 for crying out loud…a time where anything is possible if you’re willing to make an effort to make the change you want so long as it is for the overall good without impinging on individuals rights.

4 Comments

  • “I am with you !! crazy crazy people- the healthcare costs are going to be enormous and unaffordable . Jamie Oliver tried to make a change for the better and look at the resistance he recieves. We are doing the same silly things in OZ – If I go to my local supermarket at 8.30 in the morning there will be a parade of school children the soft drink,chips,sweets asile buying their breakfast. Not small bottles or bags either – the supersize ones !! Most of the products in the USA have corn syrup in them- as it is subsidized and therefore cheap to buy. I have even seen a programme on TV of scientists making this stuff into "foods" by adding chemicals /colours/flavourings ect. We wonder why kids get cancer and have allergies- I strongly believe there is a link with the foods (chemicals) we eat. Whatever happened to the home cooked meal- made from fresh ingredients. It is cheaper -healthier and with a little thought a weekly menu can also provide tomorrows lunch as well. Like the sound of your friends school lunch – yummy.”

    Helen December 01 2011

  • “Oh, it gets worse. There is a huge push by the corn industry now to "educate" the public, claiming that "sugar is sugar – whether it is high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar — it doesn’t matter." Here is the commercial on YouTube that I saw air on tv tonight no less than 5 times in 2 hours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyj2N-AspqU&feature=youtube_gdata_player AND, the FDA is now sampling arsenic levels in apple juice. Just read the article which was published today. They took 88 samples and found trace levels. Forget about the samples of millions of people that have been drinking apple juice for the past 50+ years with not one incident of anyone having arsenic poisoning. Let’s not include those numbers in the study. This is the theatre of the absurd. Teresa”

    Teresa December 01 2011

  • “It is absurd – couldnt agree more, but what can you do as a single person? Look at Jamie O and some of the other prominent "foodies" – they have trouble getting across to people. Farmers are a dying breed and people say fresh food is too expensive- all I can say it is madness and the human population will rue the day !! I belive some families live on takeaway everyday – how bad is that !! I saw a diabetic chap the other day that lives on "M" foods all the time – short life I predict !. Just had my organic egg and banana for breakfast- Maybe I am just lucky !”

    Helen December 02 2011

  • “Wow, thought I was the only person to be thoroughly disappointed unprocessed food manufacturers! I maintain a light weight even though I’m 33, so people often ask me how I stay so slim and energetic. I always say veggies and fish, and keep away from anything in a package. So easy and so delicious. I would love to see America back in shape ( in more ways than one!)”

    Nicole December 02 2011

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