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US Congress Declares "Pizza Is A Vegetable"

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Chrinthanium
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US Congress Declares "Pizza Is A Vegetable"

Postby Chrinthanium » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:32 am

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories ... ys-so.html

I am really at a loss for words on this. No, the US Congress didn't actually declare pizza a vegetable, but the serving of tomato sauce on a pizza should be considered a vegetable. I'm probably not going to mention to my Congressman and Senators that tomatoes are actually a fruit. As stated in New York Times, the tomato sauce could be counted as a vegetable if more than 1/4 of a cup of tomato sauce was used on the slice.

The rules, proposed last January, would have cut the amount of potatoes served and would have changed the way schools received credit for serving vegetables by continuing to count tomato paste on a slice of pizza only if more than a quarter-cup of it was used. The rules would have also halved the amount of sodium in school meals over the next 10 years.

But late Monday, lawmakers drafting a House and Senate compromise for the agriculture spending bill blocked the department from using money to carry out any of the proposed rules.

-NEW YORK TIMES


Apparently, this was spurred on by lobbyists and special interest groups as mentioned above in the NYT article:

In a statement, the Agriculture Department expressed its disappointment with the decision.

“While it is unfortunate that some in Congress chose to bow to special interests, U.S.D.A. remains committed to practical, science-based standards for school meals that improve the health of our children,” the department said in the statement.

Food companies including ConAgra, Coca-Cola, Del Monte Foods and makers of frozen pizza like Schwan argued that the proposed rules would raise the cost of meals and require food that many children would throw away.

The companies called the Congressional response reasonable, adding that the Agriculture Department went too far in trying to improve nutrition in school lunches.

“This is an important step for the school districts, parents and taxpayers who would shoulder the burden of U.S.D.A.’s proposed $6.8 billion school meal regulation that will not increase the delivery of key nutrients,” said John Keeling, executive vice president and chief executive of the National Potato Council.

The Agriculture Department had estimated that the proposal would have cost about $6.8 billion over the next five years, adding about 14 cents a meal to the cost of a school lunch.

Corey Henry, a spokesman for the American Frozen Food Institute, said the proposed rules simply did not make sense, especially when it came to pizza.

The industry backs the current rules which say that about a quarter-cup of tomato paste on a slice of pizza can count as a vegetable serving. The Agriculture Department proposal would have required that schools serve more tomato paste per piece of pizza to get a vegetable credit, an idea the industry thought would make pizza unappetizing.


Is this how we combat childhood obesity? By defining tomato as a vegetable (a gimmick that the Reagan Administration was unsuccessful at doing) because we want to continue to serve Pizza in the school cafeteria? Aren't there ways that we can teach children how to eat properly without the ConAgra folks lobbying Congress to define what is and what isn't a vegetable? And shouldn't we be fearing an educational system that counts Tomatoes as a vegetable when it is a fruit?
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The Matthew Islands
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Postby The Matthew Islands » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:42 am

It's nice to see that the US congress is dealing with the important issues at the moment.
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Postby Revolutopia » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:47 am

Ronald Reagan would be proud.
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Postby Risottia » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:58 am

Chrinthanium wrote:I am really at a loss for words on this. No, the US Congress didn't actually declare pizza a vegetable, but the serving of tomato sauce on a pizza should be considered a vegetable. I'm probably not going to mention to my Congressman and Senators that tomatoes are actually a fruit.
...By defining tomato as a vegetable


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed.
However, the word is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit
In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, juniper berries and bananas. Seed-associated structures that do not fit these informal criteria are usually called by other names, such as vegetables, pods, nut, ears and cones.

Also:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vegetable (noun)
1: plant 1b

tl;dr Tomatoes are vegetables.
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Postby Cosmopoles » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:00 am

Risottia wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed.
However, the word is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit
In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, juniper berries and bananas. Seed-associated structures that do not fit these informal criteria are usually called by other names, such as vegetables, pods, nut, ears and cones.

Also:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vegetable (noun)
1: plant 1b

tl;dr Tomatoes are vegetables.


^this. Vegetable has no biological definition - its a culinary term. Tomatoes are used in cooking as vegetables, not fruits. Would you put a tomato in a fruit salad?

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The Matthew Islands
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Postby The Matthew Islands » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:00 am

Risottia wrote:tl;dr Tomatoes are vegetables.

Botanically Tomato's are fruit. Culinary wise, they are treated as a vegetable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato#Fru ... getable.3F
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The Matthew Islands
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Postby The Matthew Islands » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:01 am

Cosmopoles wrote:
Risottia wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed.
However, the word is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit
In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, juniper berries and bananas. Seed-associated structures that do not fit these informal criteria are usually called by other names, such as vegetables, pods, nut, ears and cones.

Also:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vegetable (noun)
1: plant 1b

tl;dr Tomatoes are vegetables.


^this. Vegetable has no biological definition - its a culinary term. Tomatoes are used in cooking as vegetables, not fruits. Would you put a tomato in a fruit salad?

Doesn't mean its not a fruit. Cucumbers are fruit but treated as vegetables.

*edit* Knowledge is knowing the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

I've been waiting for years to use that.
Last edited by The Matthew Islands on Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ifreann » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:02 am

The Matthew Islands wrote:
Risottia wrote:tl;dr Tomatoes are vegetables.

Botanically Tomato's are fruit. Culinary wise, they are treated as a vegetable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato#Fru ... getable.3F

They're also treated as vegetables for taxation purposes.
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Postby Meowfoundland » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:03 am

Well isn't that just stupid.

Cosmopoles wrote:Would you put a tomato in a fruit salad?

My friend's mum does that, actually.
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Postby Cosmopoles » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:03 am

The Matthew Islands wrote:Doesn't mean its not a fruit. Cucumbers are fruit but treated as vegetables.


Its not a fruit as far as its use in cooking is concerned. The fact that its biologically a fruit isn't what is being discussed here.

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Postby Saiwania » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:07 am

I see nothing wrong with considering a tomato a vegetable, I do. It grows as a plant and does not taste sweet, so why not?
Last edited by Saiwania on Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Risottia » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:07 am

The Matthew Islands wrote:
Risottia wrote:tl;dr Tomatoes are vegetables.

Botanically Tomato's are fruit. Culinary wise, they are treated as a vegetable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato#Fru ... getable.3F


Well, actually, to be botanically accurate, tomatoes (not "Tomato's") are berries... and bananas AREN'T fruit (as they contain no seeds... they're parthenocarps).

The definition of "vegetable" is exclusively culinary - and the culinary definition of "fruit" isn't the biological one; also the biological definition classifies tomatoes as "plant", not "vegetables" - which isn't a biological term. So, really, I don't see the point of bringing up biology when talking about culinary terms.
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Postby Risottia » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:08 am

The Matthew Islands wrote:*edit* Knowledge is knowing the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.


Wrong.
Biology is knowing the tomato is a fruit. Cuisine is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Meowfoundland wrote:My friend's mum does that, actually.

Mhh... curiouser and curiouser. :unsure:
Last edited by Risottia on Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby The Floridian Coast » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:09 am

And here I thought only the corn industry had Congress by the balls.
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Postby Firstaria » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:10 am

We in Italy have so many problems for ourselves that i don't eve DARE starting to discuss other countries problems, so i'm just gonna state my 3 opinions:

1. LOL! Pizza a vegetable?
2. Wow, that deserved all congress attention.
3. Since this is a "victory" for an Italian product...fuck yeah.
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Postby Risottia » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:13 am

Firstaria wrote:We in Italy have so many problems for ourselves that i don't eve DARE starting to discuss other countries problems, so i'm just gonna state my 3 opinions:

1. LOL! Pizza a vegetable?
2. Wow, that deserved all congress attention.
3. Since this is a "victory" for an Italian product...fuck yeah.


Well you shouldn't limit yourself to the thread title...

Anyway, well, pizza without mozzarella (pizza alla marinara) is ok for vegans. Pizza margherita would be ok for vegetarians. On the other hand, AMERICAN pizzas usually include huge amounts of meat products (such as "pepperoni" che non sono i peperoni, wurstel, ham...).
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Postby Tekania » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:14 am

Chrinthanium wrote:Is this how we combat childhood obesity? By defining tomato as a vegetable (a gimmick that the Reagan Administration was unsuccessful at doing) because we want to continue to serve Pizza in the school cafeteria? Aren't there ways that we can teach children how to eat properly without the ConAgra folks lobbying Congress to define what is and what isn't a vegetable? And shouldn't we be fearing an educational system that counts Tomatoes as a vegetable when it is a fruit?


I'm tired of people like you bringing up this stupid argument. Botanically tomato is a "fruit"... from the culinary view it is a vegetable, and nutritionally it is somewhere in between. In this sense it is like many other "vegetable/fruits" such as pumpkins (or indeed squashes in general), cucumbers, and chiles but y'all don't really seem to harp on those. Geezzuz... get a fucking life.
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Postby The Floridian Coast » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:14 am

Firstaria wrote:We in Italy have so many problems for ourselves that i don't eve DARE starting to discuss other countries problems, so i'm just gonna state my 3 opinions:

1. LOL! Pizza a vegetable?
2. Wow, that deserved all congress attention.
3. Since this is a "victory" for an Italian product...fuck yeah.


I think any Italian who came to America and order a pizza would be like "What the hell is this?" I went to Italy once and had a real Italian pizza, I gotta tell you, it was very hard adjusting to American food again even after 2 weeks in Italy. I ate Burger King in JFK airport on the way back and it ravaged my newly cultured digestive system.
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Postby Fartsniffage » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:14 am

The Floridian Coast wrote:And here I thought only the corn industry had Congress by the balls.


Everybody seems to have congress by the balls.

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Postby The Floridian Coast » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:15 am

Fartsniffage wrote:
The Floridian Coast wrote:And here I thought only the corn industry had Congress by the balls.


Everybody seems to have congress by the balls.


Everyone except for the people, pretty much.
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Postby Meowfoundland » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:16 am

The Matthew Islands wrote:*edit* Knowledge is knowing the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.


Risottia wrote:
Meowfoundland wrote:My friend's mum does that, actually.

Mhh... curiouser and curiouser. :unsure:

It's apparently quite tasty, not that I really want to try it. It really depends on the variety of tomato.

Can't the tomato be both a fruit and a vegetable, depending on use?
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Postby Firstaria » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:16 am

The Floridian Coast wrote:
Firstaria wrote:We in Italy have so many problems for ourselves that i don't eve DARE starting to discuss other countries problems, so i'm just gonna state my 3 opinions:

1. LOL! Pizza a vegetable?
2. Wow, that deserved all congress attention.
3. Since this is a "victory" for an Italian product...fuck yeah.


I think any Italian who came to America and order a pizza would be like "What the hell is this?" I went to Italy once and had a real Italian pizza, I gotta tell you, it was very hard adjusting to American food again even after 2 weeks in Italy. I ate Burger King in JFK airport on the way back and it ravaged my newly cultured digestive system.


Well, since i'm Italian i know the difference between that thing you call "pizza" and my NEAPOLITAN ORIGINAL WITH MOZZARELLA DOC PIZZA, but still it's a victory over hamburgers. Now i still have to see a good one of those.
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The Floridian Coast
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Postby The Floridian Coast » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:18 am

Firstaria wrote:
The Floridian Coast wrote:
I think any Italian who came to America and order a pizza would be like "What the hell is this?" I went to Italy once and had a real Italian pizza, I gotta tell you, it was very hard adjusting to American food again even after 2 weeks in Italy. I ate Burger King in JFK airport on the way back and it ravaged my newly cultured digestive system.


Well, since i'm Italian i know the difference between that thing you call "pizza" and my NEAPOLITAN ORIGINAL WITH MOZZARELLA DOC PIZZA, but still it's a victory over hamburgers. Now i still have to see a good one of those.


Five Guys is a good hamburger, but they aren't common in America, I think they are mostly in the South.

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Postby New East Ireland » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:21 am

What hope I had in Congress is now gone.
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Postby Risottia » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:24 am

Meowfoundland wrote:
The Matthew Islands wrote:*edit* Knowledge is knowing the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.


Risottia wrote:
Mhh... curiouser and curiouser. :unsure:

It's apparently quite tasty, not that I really want to try it. It really depends on the variety of tomato.

Can't the tomato be both a fruit and a vegetable, depending on use?


I wouldn't say so. Generally, in cuisine a plant part is either "fruit" or "vegetable" according to how much sweet it tastes. Tomatoes can be sweet, but not remotely as sweet as a pear, or an apricot.
Then again, we're talking cuisine, not science.
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