Under New Trump Admin Guidelines, Pasta Is Now A Vegetable In American Schools
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released new school lunch guidelines last week that would allow more pizza, burgers and french fries in school cafeterias across the country — and they would even count some pastas as vegetables, according to The Independent.
The changes, meant to reverse former First Lady Michelle Obama’s attempt to rein in childhood obesity and promote healthy eating habits, would permit “pastas made with potato, soy or other starchy vegetable-based flours to be considered as a vegetable serving.”
Specifically, the rule states: "Pasta made of vegetable flour may credit as a vegetable, even if the pasta is not served with another recognizable vegetable."
Officials say the goal is to do away with foods that children don’t want to eat in an effort to reduce waste.
"Schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.
We listened and now we're getting to work."
That works includes permanently considering “potatoes and other starchy foods as a fruit and would permit only half a cup of fruit rather than a whole cup to be served as a breakfast item,” The Independent noted. Calorie deficits can be filled with pastries and other starchy foods, and “potatoes can also be served as a vegetable every day.”
Critics of the move say the new rules create a "huge loophole in school nutrition guidelines" and include foods that are "high in calories, saturated fat or sodium in place of balanced school meals every day.”
By comparison, Obama’s 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act “mandated that participating schools include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy options on their menus while decreasing the amount of sugary, fatty and salty foods available to kids on campus.”