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Rep. Polis Doesn’t Want Pizza Classified As A Vegetable Anymore

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A student eating pizza during lunch at Louisville Middle School (credit: CBS)

A student eating pizza during lunch at Louisville Middle School (credit: CBS)

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LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – U.S. Rep. Jared Polis wants to make sure pizza doesn’t count as a vegetable in school lunches and on Monday announced new legislation that would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement nutrition standards for pizza.

Polis says Congress gave pizza a nutritional designation that’s absurd. Now he wants to restore what he calls sensible nutrition standards for school lunches.

It was “Meatless Monday” and cheese pizza was on the menu at Louisville Middle School. It’s a favorite with the students, but it’s left others with a bad taste.

“Congress has actually declared pizza to be a vegetable,” Polis said.

It’s not that Polis can’t stomach the occasional slice; it’s just that he wants to put pizza in its proper place.

“Pizza may be fine to eat from time to time, but it ain’t a vegetable,” he said.

Polis took his nutrition issue to the cafeteria Monday. He says 1/8th of a cup of tomato paste doesn’t put pizza on a par with peas and broccoli. He says it should not count for the vegetable in federally subsidized school lunches.

“What Congress has done, believe it or not, is defy logic,” he said.

So Polis has introduced the “Slice Act” — school lunch improvements for children’s education. It’s a bill to get rid of the pizza loophole.

Polis says there’s no need for concern. While he points out pizza can be high in fat and carbohydrates, he’s okay with the popular pie for lunch as long as it’s served with a side of something healthy.

Polis believes pressure from the frozen food industry got pizza its vegetable designation. He hopes the Slice Act ends it.

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