I’m not sure how the politicians that make up our government manage to fit so much corruption into apparently cut and dry issues. When one arm of the government is declaring the need for more vegetables and less potatoes in school lunches another arm of the government is declaring pizza a vegetable and axing the recommendation that children eat less potatoes. It must be difficult working inside an entity so massive and so full of corruption that one arm is actively working against another arm because different lobbyist target different politicians. Just look at the recent mess involving federally subsidized school lunches and weep at the mess we call government:
The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year. These include limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line, putting new restrictions on sodium and boosting the use of whole grains. The legislation would block or delay all of those efforts.
The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that.
Nutritionists say the whole effort is reminiscent of the Reagan administration’s much-ridiculed attempt 30 years ago to classify ketchup as a vegetable to cut costs. This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied Congress.
The only way so many special interests can be involved in a single issue is if the government is meddling. I’m sure vegetable growers were the ones who petitioned the Agriculture Department to first enact it’s recommendations and then companies that produce frozen pizza, seeing their business may be in jeopardy, petitioned government to overrule those recommendations through legislation. While everybody scoffs at Congress’s attempt to redefine what a vegetable is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is busy making themselves out to be hypocrites:
“While it’s unfortunate that some members of Congress continue to put special interests ahead of the health of America’s children, USDA remains committed to practical, science-based standards for school meals,” she said in a statement.
Emphasis mine. Let’s look back at a the previous quote, specifically the part that states, “USDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that.” How does the amount of tomato paste scientifically define whether or not it is a vegetable? Last I hear tomatoes were scientifically classified as fruit. What a bunch of hypocritical assholes.
Not only is Congress and USDA involved in this but even the military has a pony in this race:
A group of retired generals advocating for healthier school lunches also criticized the spending bill. The group, called Mission: Readiness, has called poor nutrition in school lunches a national security issue because obesity is the leading medical disqualifier for military service.
Obviously the biggest problem with increased obesity in the United States is that it reduce the number of people available to send overseas to kill foreigners! We need to stop this before we don’t have enough troops to occupy the ~140 countries we currently have bases in!
Let’s recap on everybody involved in this issue. We have USDA, Congress, lobbyists for numerous agriculture organizations, scientific organizations, healthcare organization, retired military personell, and school children. The last group is the one who has no say but are getting fucked over regardless of the outcome.
All of these groups are involved in what is essentially a simple problem: determining what food will be served at public schools. People across the nation solved this problem on a daily fucking basis when they decide what they’re going to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s right, those idiots in government can’t solve a problem that is essentially figuring out what one is going to eat for a meal and we trust them with market regulations, foreign relations, and nuclear weaponry. Think about that last sentence for a while and then ask yourself why the hell we trust these morons to decide anything of importance.