Re: I have to throw a flag on the play for this one. (Our View: French fries and cheap pizza," Dec. 6) Everyone loves to bash congress, myself included. However, if the Standard-Examiner editorial board had bothered to look up the agriculture appropriations bill that sparked this rumor, they'd have discovered that neither pizza nor french fries are discussed, but that would certainly have ruined a perfectly good narrative. Is the SE editorial board interested in informing its readers, or is it interested in hyping silly nonsense?
What the appropriations bill does is to correct errors in nutritional guidlines in other legislation. With respect to tomato paste, all the bill says is this:
SEC. 743. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement an interim final or final rule regarding nutrition programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1 9 6 6 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) that- (1) requires crediting of tomato paste and puree based on volume;
This may not be immediately obvious, but what it does is correct nutritional guidelines that were wrong in the previous statues. Tomato paste is nutritionally more concentrated than an equal volume of green beans, for example. Therefore, a dietician formulating school lunch menus can take this into account when calculating nutritional values for school meals, which is probably required to receive federal funding. There is a similar statement regarding vegetables, which I suspect is where the 'french fries as a vegetable' misrepresentation arises.
Whenever I see silly stuff like this, the first thing I do is go to the source. If the SE editorial board would do likewise, we'd have far less nonsense showing up in the paper. http://www.rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_1/Committee%20Jurisdiction...