Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2014

Polis Polices Possible Pizza Permutations

Rep. Jared Polis — Colorado Democrat, new parent, pizza warrior.

Polis this week waded into the debate over whether pizza should be classified as a vegetable.

No laughing! Last year, Congress passed language in a bill funding the Agriculture Department that changed previously snack-like items such as frozen pizza and french fries into healthy, nutritious veggies.

Members such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and the frozen food lobby pushed hard for this change, which left even small children confused.

Polis is now taking on the pizza forces with his very own bill, the School Lunch Improvements for Children’s Education Act, aka the SLICE Act.

He is fighting legislation with legislation! Take that!

The SLICE Act would return pizza — and fries and other starch-heavy frozen staples — back to their former spots outside the vegetable kingdom. It would allow the USDA to set limits on sodium and whole grains and count 1/8 of a cup of tomato paste as 1/8 of a cup, instead of as half of a cup, which qualifies pizza as a vegetable.

Fractions. Sigh.

“While tomato paste has a small amount of nutrients, pizza is loaded with sugar, salt, bread and cheese, which carry a great deal of fat and carbohydrates that turn into sugar during digestion,” the statement from Polis’ office says. “Categorizing pizza as a vegetable because of its small amount of tomato paste is exactly the wrong approach.”

Logical burn.

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