back to article Attention swingbellies: Pizza sauce is a healthy vegetable

The US government will officially declare pizza sauce a vegetable* in its own right, if Congress passes a rule change to recategorise the runny topping as a full-fledged vegetable this week. The expected ruling will come as part of lawmakers' annual spending bill for the US Department of Agriculture, and provision for …


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  1. TedF

    Fast food Government

    The U.S. government is run by and for big corporations; they will do anything in their considerable power to keep the population hooked on their products.

    Amoral and jaw - droppingly ignorant - the tomato is a fruit!

    1. Rob Dobs

      frutis and vegetables is actually the catagory

      and most health standards don't define between either, just that you eat lots of both.

      I suppose its a fruit serving...but as article states how do you fit 8oz of the sauce on a skimpy slice of pizza like they serve is US schools? I can see them calling it that, but where does the extra dishonesty of saying 2oz is 8oz creep in? does this mean I can pay 1/4 of my taxes and call it the whole thing?

      Plus would assume that these means actual ground tomatoes too, not the tomato paste, water and corn syrup concoction that they actually use.

  2. Roger Greenwood

    And beer is fluid essential to life.

    Well it does contain around 95% water.

    Mines full of Nook Oak Stout.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      And water is classed as an essential human right that can't be cut off (completely). I think I see where you are going with this.

    2. Richard Crossley

      EU doctors say...

      ...drinking water doesn't reduce dehydration, or some such...

      Maybe if I stick the 95% pure stuff my thirst will be quenched.

    3. Gavin McMenemy

      Before better water standards people drank beer as their clean water source for years.

  3. Captain Underpants

    There's a Frozen Food Instit- oh, wait, it's the US, of *course* there's a preposterous lobby group^W^W entirely independent and scientifically-backed institute for the totally unbiased and methodical research into frozen nutrients. In no way is their chief area of interest described as how best to sell crap food to the kind of people who think that:

    a) Kerry Katona is a role model (rather than a demonstration of How Not To Do It where "It" is pretty much any aspect of life) and/or

    b) Iceland is a place that sells quality, nutritious food.

    (I say all this as a big fan of pizza, but once you start rolling your own dough and baking them with a pizza stone you'll never want to go back to the frozen crap ever again!)

    1. Jimbo 6

      FFI ? FFS

      "ensuring schools and the children they serve continue to have access to a variety of nutritious foods"

      Doublethink at its finest

  4. Tomato42


    If someone had any doubts that US are run by corporations, they should be cleared now...

  5. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Wasn't ketchup defined as a vegetable for the same reason about 25 years ago?

    Another triumph for Reaganomics...

    1. TonyG

      They tried to but it never made it through to law fortunately.

    2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      No, not really

      Somebody raised a hypothetical question, and somebody else answered it distractedly.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      But Nancy's favorite vegetable Ronnie, never got it passed into the regulations.

  6. Sarah Davis

    WTF ???

    no seriously, WTF ?? How dumb or corrupt are these morons. How could anyone with a brain even consider this? Can you grow Pizza sauce? Is it alive? Is it a 'vegtable'? NO

    no wonder our american cousins are so ill-informed

  7. Chris Miller

    "The tomato is a fruit"

    To a botanist, almost all vegetables (that are not root vegetables) are fruits. That would include peas, beans and aubergines.

  8. Euchrid

    Where's the IT angle?

    I don't know and I don't care... this story had put a smile on my chops!

  9. Lamont Cranston

    No wonder

    they ran Jamie Oliver out of town.

  10. MarkB

    as any fule kno that the tomato is a fruit

    But everybody hated it when I put some in my fruit salad....

  11. Anonymous John

    Whisky is also good for you.

    It's made from grain, so it's practically muesli.

  12. Camilla Smythe

    As any fule kno that the tomato is a fruit.

    Plus it am packed wiv Lycopene wot is natures most powerful anti-oxyblobble which becomes more concerntrated by processing plus the body absorbs it better when digested wiv grease.

    Crunchie Cat Food is also crunchie. Yum.. wiv lots of additional stuff.

    My cat eats the crap bits from Crunchie Cat Food and leaves the good bits for me.

    Hugz & Purz

  13. hamsterjam

    Wait, what?

    "The Institute warned that USDA's thoroughly un-American proposals would have increased the cost of the average school lunch by 14 cents, and breakfast by 50 cents."

    So, in other words, feeding children with additive-packed junk food is desirable because it saves money, notwithstanding the copiously-documented links between diet and behaviour, intelligence, happiness and (obviously) health.

    It is obvious (to any suit-wearing, trough-snuffling banker's catamite) that healthy, well-fed, well-behaved, attentive and happy children are a luxury rather than a desirable outcome for society as a whole (which, as any fule kno, does not exist).

    Fortunately a group of disinterested benefactors, with only the best interests of the food-processing industry in mind, have heroically jumped in to demonstrate that poisoning children is OK because it SAVES MONEY!

    I am reminded of a nameless British politician forcing a hamburger down his unwilling daughter's throat, pimping his own child to the agribusiness lobby in order to prove that British beef was safe to eat.

    As a parent I am half-responsible for ensuring that my children get the nutrition that they need in order to thrive, just like any other parent. Measures like this, which are called into being in order to put a few cents in an undeserving parasite's pocket, actively militate against my efforts . Furthermore I gain nothing when my children's contemporaries are abused like this, and my children bear the brunt of the consequences.

    Pusillanimity, misanthropy, avarice and callousness have become virtues amongst those whom we permit to administer the logistics of our daily lives. This is self-evidently wrong. It's time to change things. Let's start with putting the severed head of the creep who did this cost-benefit analysis on a pointed stick outside the offices of the Italian social club he/she works for.

    There are those who may protest "But that's happening in America, it could never happen here!"

    My riposte is that if it can make some MP's "friends" money, then happen here it will.

  14. Z-Eden

    Hold on, so they're going to classify a bottle of passata as a vegetable? Eh? Or is it because the merkins process it so heavily for their pizzas that it probably is closer to a vegetable.

  15. Miek

    ahahahhahhahahahahha hhahahahahhhhaahahahahahahah - that is all

  16. h 2

    What type of Vegetable is a Fish

    My vegie son seems to be happy eating fish & eggs :)

  17. Christoph

    How about giving them a real vegetable

    Chocolate is a Vegetable!

    (see link for the proof)

    1. Anonymous John

      So if you eat a Chocolate Orange, that's two of your Five a day?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Limey in Merkinland

    I'm a Limey in Merkinland and my wife is a schoolteacher.

    That decision is typical. The lunches in her school district are the same kind of disgusting industrial crap that Jamie's School Dinners railed against. They might as well scrap it and send loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter, jelly* and Fluff **.

    * Merkin for jam, but more specifically the cheap stuff without fruity bits. Jam is used to poncify in the same way preserve is in used in the UK.

    ** Spreadable marshmallow in a jar. Combined with peanut butter to make a fluffernutter.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      "Spreadable marshmallow in a jar"

      That sounds disgusting

  19. 404

    We Are Not Alone <cue spooky theme>

    The EU, in it's infinite wisdom, has decided that water is not healthy -> saw this yesterday in FT or something.

    Next Up: Legislation changing pi to 3... since 3.14 discriminates against those who do not understand or decline for religious reasons, the decimal system.

    Just saying....

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Down


      the EU decided that it's not allowed to label water bottles saying that they 'cure' dehydration, and well done to them for limiting the crap claims that can be made on advertising.

      Drinking SUFFICIENT (not excessive) amounts of water as well as eating healthy food with high water content (aka fruit & veg) prevents dehydration. Once dehydrated however, drinking lots of water at one go is dangerous. So well done the EU for stopping the spread of misleading advertising. (what's with the bottled water anyway? in pretty much everywhere in Europe the stuff coming out of the taps is excellent drinking quality)

  20. TonyG

    Deep fried pizza

    My local chippy does deep fried pizza cooked in vegetable oil, does this mean it counts as two of my five a day?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chips are made from potatoes, which are a veg.

    Chicken is full of protein. The herbs which they are coated in are vegetables, the breadcrumbs are made from bread made from veg.

    Sunflower oil is made from sunflowers, vegetables.

    If only we knew what kebab meat was made from :)

  22. Random comment...

    Yes, but.

    Is it faster than the speed of light??

  23. James Micallef Silver badge

    The US congress

    The finest politicians money can buy

  24. kain preacher

    First off pizza that they serve in school has no actual food stuff in it. At least not in America. It's this rectangle object. Even hot the cheese still looks like it does when it gets cold an congealed. still believe to this day the pizza served in the schools had playskool stamped on the bottom. Lets not forget about the grey hamburgers. They are grey before and after cooking. You wounder why Americans love McDonalds. That crap is gourmet food compared to what's served in school lunch. Hell serving cat or dog in the school would be a step up. At least it would be actual meat.

  25. Tom 13

    I for one say Kudos! to the Frozen Food Institute.

    Not withstanding El Reg's atypical failure to bite that hand that feeds it, the important bits here are what is NOT reported in the article. Having eaten more than my share of institutional food in the US public school system I will categorically state that Pizza day in school was always one of the better lunches, both nutritionally and taste wise. So what the nanny-ninnies at USDA are actually attempting to do is remove a healthy food source from the menu. Why I don't know, but that would be the net effect of what they were trying to do.

    1. AdamWill


      if typical American pizza was the *best* you got taste and nutrition-wise - bearing in mind that it's made of cheap flour, highly processed cheese, and Suspicious Tomato Analogue - what the hell did you get served on the other days? Ground rocks?

      I have a new theory, actually: America has finally, terminally jumped the shark. Your politicians should all be either arrested or committed, your kids can only make it out the front door if it's downhill and wide enough for them to roll through, your national deficit could finance a mile-high pure diamond statue of Richard Nixon, your entire national infrastructure is rapidly collapsing around your ears, your higher education system becomes more inaccessible by the day, and the greatest achievement of your intellectual caste is to have convinced just about everyone that free market capitalism is great - even the people flipping burgers for $5 an hour. I mean, you're in a worse state than Britain in the 1970s, for Pete's sake.

  26. James 100

    I still remember seeing the Jamie Oliver thing, where he got told off for planning a meal which "only" had one load of starchy crap in not the required two. He had to add bread to the pasta dish. Not a word about vitamins, fat, sugar, salt - just can you cram lots of starch into their gullets very very cheaply.

    The trouble is, banning even lousy pizza probably wouldn't lead to an improvement. Chicken-substitute, beans and chips might not be ideal food, but schools learned the hard way in Scotland that mandating healthier food the kids won't eat just means they walk to the chip or kebab shop and get something even worse! Probably not a pint, but just as inappropriate for schoolkids...

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