In a heated congressional session Thursday, lawmakers continued to clash with the Obama administration over proposed changes that would make the school-lunch program healthier, arguing that low-income children have a right to eat shitty food and get sick from it.
Under the current setup, which provides $14 billion worth of free or low-cost meals to students, pizza is considered a vegetable. Other marginally nutritious foods, such as french fries, feature prominently because of the law’s loose wording.
The Obama administration has tried to change that. New USDA regulations have downplayed the nutritional value of tomato paste, so the amount on one slice of pizza only counts as one half-cup serving of vegetables. Cafeterias must serve two and a half cups of veggies weekly, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Obama has tried to double that amount, as part of his childhood health initiative. He has pushed for cafeterias to serve kids more whole grains — and fewer starchy carbs.
He also wants more leafy greens on the menu, which pisses off a fair amount of Republicans and their backers, the Associated Press has reported.
The proposals — part of a 2012 spending bill — have generated flak from the food and agriculture industries, which make a considerable amount of money poisoning feeding the nation’s schoolchildren.
“Some conservatives argue that the federal government shouldn’t tell children what to eat,” the AP reported earlier this week.
The Centers for Disease Control report that 19 percent of children are obese, according to The Wall Street Journal.