Pizza Is A Vegetable & Other GOP Job Creating Ideas

Mr. Beale was thrilled to learn that House Republicans have reclassified pizza as a vegetable. After all, I’m constantly nagging at him to eat his vegetables and reminding him of all the health benefits of adding fresh, organic produce to his diet. Now he just needs to wave that slice of meat lovers, stuffed-crust pizza in my face — with extra cheese. Ha ha!

Thanks a lot, House Republicans.

Seriously, this is some crazy shit right here. I realize it’s for the purposes of school lunches. But if you’re sending your kids to school and don’t want them saddled with diabetes and heart disease by the time they’re 20, I don’t think telling them the vegetable of the day is pizza is the way to do it. Maybe it’s just me.

Okay, raise your hand: who thinks this wasn’t just the House Republicans’ “fuck you” to Michelle Obama? I do. It’s just modern-day hippie-punching, with a twist.

I’m old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan classified ketchup as a vegetable. Well, who says Republicans don’t like recycling? We laughed then and we’re laughing now. Okay, first of all, tomatoes are a fruit, technically — not a vegetable. But second of all, by the time it’s been processed with liberal doses of sodium and corn syrup and turned into ketchup or pizza sauce, only an idiot would try to pretend it’s a vegetable.

Can’t believe I’m even bothering to explain this. Le Sigh.

Which brings to mind something else: Republicans are always lobbying against things like junk food taxes and laws mandating posting calorie counts in fast food restaurants. Their argument is, “well, everyone knows McDonald’s and KFC are bad for you! Personal responsibility, people!” But then they go ahead and tell everyone pizza is a vegetable? A little hypocritical, don’tcha think?

I’m not shocked that people might be confused about the dubious health benefits of a Taco Bell Fiesta Taco Salad (770 calories, 42 grams of fat, and a whopping 1,350 mg. of sodium and 74 grams of carbs. Yeesh.) It says “salad” in the name!

No wonder people are confused: they tune into a popular TV show like The Biggest Loser and see eight-time Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Ono hawking Subway sandwiches — featuring chemically-laden, processed meats and genetically modified ingredients! I read Ono’s autobiography, and I promise you when training for the Olympics (in which he lost a pound a week and got down to 2% body fat) he did not eat processed meats and genetically modified foods.

Oh yeah, all this shit at the local strip mall is sooo healthy! And good for the planet, too! Yeah, Big Food has caught on to what the public wants, but instead of changing the way they do things, they’ve just changed advertising slogans. Free hand of the market, my ass.

Case in point: have you seen this ad from Chipotle, the fast food chain that claims to be so healthy and sustainable? I saw it at the movie theater. It’s got so many liberal dog whistles, from the Willie Nelson soundtrack to depiction of mechanized agri-business, that I immediately knew I was supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy toward Chipotle. Instead, I felt manipulated and offended, since I know Chipotle hawks the same genetically-modified crap as everyone else:

Pizza is not a vegetable and Subway is not health food and Chipotle is not dishing up sustainable burritos. But no wonder people are confused: it’s how the food industry wants it:

Q. On your blog you say, “confusion is one of the tried and true tools of the processed foods industry.” Can you say more about the subtle and not-so-subtle ways these companies confuse us?

A. I think one of the main ways the processed food industry is trying to grow and defend their business is by funding self-serving research. The goal of these studies isn’t to uncover “the truth” or to improve public health. Instead, the research is carefully constructed to create sound bites and statistics to help market their products or combat potential regulation. This is one of the primary ways we end up with conflicting studies that confuse consumers on what they should eat or drink.

Is this purposeful misdirection? Intent is always tough to prove, especially if you don’t have firsthand knowledge. Research tends to be the work of a select few within processed food companies, and I was never part of one of those groups. That said, if you dig into these studies and their methodology, you can usually find the telltale signs of how they have “stacked the deck” in their favor.


Q. What are three things you think every consumer should know about Big Food?

A. Big Food is profit-driven. Don’t be fooled into thinking a brand or the food company that owns it cares about you or your health.

Think critically. Most claims and advertising by Big Food companies are meant to manipulate you, not educate you. Read your labels and do your research.

There is no free lunch. Over the long-term, you always get what you pay for. Cheap food is very expensive once you add up the true costs — like the taxes you pay to subsidize Big Food companies, health consequences like obesity or diabetes, the devastating harm to our environment, and the inhumane treatment of animals raised within the industrialized food system.

Amen to that. I’m so fucking tired of being manipulated by Corporate Food and their minions in Congress, and then having everyone tell us we should know better. You know, we would know better if you didn’t constantly lie to us across a dizzying array of media platforms.

Obesity is a huge problem in this country and it is affecting the national health and welfare. But it goes way beyond obesity. These Frankenfoods that the corporate food industry is shoving down the American gullet are everywhere, even in supposed “health foods.” And the corporate food industry is purposely confusing us so we’ll just shut up and eat our cruel gruel like good little robots.

Well, I’m not shutting up. And I’m not buying your fake food, either.


Filed under corporations, food, food supply, obesity, rants

10 responses to “Pizza Is A Vegetable & Other GOP Job Creating Ideas

  1. The other big lie: “organic”

    • At least to be labeled organic you have to meet certain standards. The biggest lie is “natural.”

      • deep

        True, but what’s the point in buying “Organic” oranges from South Africa (shipped to my local Massachusetts Whole Foods store)? I try to buy local whenever I can, and sometimes I even buy local conventional food because I am familiar with the farm and know they use sustainable practices even if they use non-organic fertilizers.

      • Yes, you’re 100% correct about that. That’s been a major, um, beef of mine for a loooong time. Oranges may not be the best example as we buy organic oranges from California and it’s not like we have orange groves around Tennessee. But for crying out loud, why oh why must I always choose between regional/local OR organic? (OR going broke?! We do have some excellent CSA’s and locally raised organic produce here but I just can’t pay that kind of money on a regular basis. $5 for a tiny head of spinach?)

        I’ve asked this question of Whole Foods many times, because we DO have organic farms in Tennessee, Kentucky and other parts nearby. When Whole Foods hawks its “regional” produce, however, it’s NEVER organic! But their organic stuff comes from Chile and Mexico half the time! WTF? It really pisses me off, because Whole Foods is such a major player in the organic game. But they’re still supporting the same corporate agribusiness that traditional grocery stores do.

        Also, I guess I already know the answer to this — Whole Foods is a bigger buyer — but why is it the organic produce available at traditional grocery chains is always so crappy? The only major chain where one can find decent organic produce is Whole Foods. The organic sections at Kroger, Publix, and Hill’s SUCK.

        Anyway, I agree with you completely. Next year I will probably do shares in a CSA. It’s not ideal for our situation, since we’re just two people and Mr. Beale eats very few vegetables, so I kind of need to be able to pick and choose. But the one provider of locally-grown organic produce and meats which allows you to shop in the more traditional sense (they have an onine marketplace) is just extremely expensive.

  2. i admit i eat it -all that bad-for-you stuff. i had donuts and coffee for breakfast. i don’t want school kids and their parents being told pizza is a vegetable, though, any more than i wanted them told ketchup counted as a veggie. don’t they have anything better to do on the public dime?

  3. I made the mistake of hearing this on NPR’s “Marketplace” (aka “Pr0n for Glibertarians”) and had to shut off the radio when the douchenozzle from the frozen food industry came on to assert that tomato paste “is actually very nutrient-dense”. That’s right up there with the assertion made during the McLibel trial that Coke is good for you ’cause it has water in it and water’s an essential part of life.

    Perhaps the House Republicans should be served big glasses of freshly-squeezed urine. It’s got water *and* minerals, after all!

  4. Randy

    Why I start my day with Southern Beale:

    “Seriously, this is some crazy shit right here.”
    “Le Sigh.”

    Chris Rock meets Pepé Le Pew.

    BTW I had oatmeal for breakfast. Tastes like wild hickor’ nuts. Probably the pesticide residue.

  5. Southern Beale:

    Donate the veggies you don’t want to some poor, hungry, well, democommie. Better yet, just get the spare room ready and me and Buddy will come visit from May till October;-)

    Seriously, we have a number of organic farmers up here in CNY who do the “box of whatever came in this week” programs. It’s good produce at a fari price. When I hear “organic” and “Mexico” in the same sentence I get strange thoughts in my head. Then again, if we want good, cheap, safe produce we should push to have congress declare it a dangerous drug.