Pizza and potatoes for all!

I have been doing what I refer to as a 5-5-5 plan. It’s actually known as 5X5 training, but I like telling people that I’m as excited about my 5-5-5 plan as conservatives were about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan a few weeks ago – the difference is that my plan will be effective. But I digress.

Part of my plan includes eating. A lot. I’ve already put on 5 pounds in a little over a week and I expect to add another 5-10 pounds by the time I’m done in a month or so. This is roughly in line with the average lives of most Americans except that my weight gain is controlled. And zero of it is fat. I can do this plan for two primary reasons: 1) I am regularly working out (and I have seen strength gains already) and 2) I’m not eating a bunch of shitty food. Not that I’m opposed to tastiness, but the majority of what I consume throughout the day has good nutritional value, including lots of protein.

Now, if I was to stop working out while continuing my food intake levels, I would put on a bunch of fat. Even with a favorable metabolism and youth on my side, I wouldn’t be able to avoid it. But I wouldn’t do that to myself because I value my health, unlike most Americans. In fact, the valuing of health in America is so low that Congress actually wants to continue the practice of effectively calling pizza a vegetable:

The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year, which included limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line and delaying limits on sodium and delaying a requirement to boost whole grains.

The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to prevent that.

It’s unclear if this relates to the healthy eating bill Michelle Obama lobbied to get passed not too long ago, but it’s shitty any way you slice it. And speaking of slicing, guess which groups were most active in this effort to keep kids fat?

Food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes, and some conservatives in Congress say the federal government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat.

Shocking, I know.

So let me summarize what happened: a number of businesses that live off government purchases want to keep doing so and the party that lives off donations from businesses like these said sure. Very pragmatic.

But what isn’t pragmatic is the ideology that underlies much of this. Republicans believe that the government should stay out of telling kids what to eat*, but that is either a fundamentally dishonest or fundamentally stupid argument. The government is footing the bill. It can restrict whatever it damn well pleases, just as it restricts prepared foods and (in at least some states) energy drinks from being purchased with food stamps. I fail to see why anyone thinks there is a fundamental right to eating pizza and potatoes.

But by all means, let’s keep feeding kids bad food. Think of all the benefits. No longer will “the fat kid” get bullied and mocked – it isn’t easy to go after half the class. And with this generation of 20-somethings being the most educated group in history, there will be plenty of jobs for them in the health care industry as more and more kids develop diabetes. And as airplanes and stadiums and movie theaters and any place with seats grow older, they will need to be replaced with bigger and wider places to sit. That’s going to be a windfall for manufacturers and maybe even the construction industry. If anything, The Obese Generation is going to be a boon for the minority of people who won’t be on disability in the coming years.

*In fact, Republicans believe the government should stay out of everything. Unless it’s a social issue on which Christianity has an opinion.

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8 Responses

  1. I maintain the points I made about Michelle’s crappy bill to starve the children of America. Mostly that you haven’t read the bill, nor the proposed rules for its implementation. (I say starve with all seriousness. The bill allows for no more than 1200 calories to be served per day. What if, like so many claim, school food is the only food kids get? They will literally starve.)

    Under her bill, by the way, a slice of pizza counts as a free lunch if it is served with two vegetables. Major improvement.

    I’m also not sure what exactly the vegetable equivalency is when talking about tomato paste, but I’m sure it exists, and it is obviously relevant. It is after all concentrated tomatoes.

    I think you just want to bitch about something. Read the school lunch bill. Its awful. Parts of it are great, but taken on the whole, the bill should have been titled, “the making school food even more unattractive to humans act of 2010”.

  2. The number of meals per day is being increased for at-risk children. Furthermore, I can’t seem to find anything about this seemingly random maximum calorie number you have. In fact, all I see in the bill is references to using established dietary guidelines more vigorously.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ296/pdf/PLAW-111publ296.pdf

    If we go all the way back to the days of yore, aka as 2009, we can see the Institute of Medicine using that pesky science-y junk to recommend an increase in vegetables and a decrease in sodium – the exact opposite of what Congress is doing.

    http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2009/School-Meals-Building-Blocks-for-Healthy-Children.aspx

    The fact is, the bill that was passed last December greatly increases access to food for kids who come from struggling families. In addition to that, these USDA standards that are getting the shaft would serve to make that food healthier, benefiting the needy kids as well as the fatties whose parents are too irresponsible to do anything about this epidemic.

  3. The rules produce a weekly average per meal maximum for calories. And the number of meals isn’t being increased, the number of people eligible for said meals may be, but it’s still 2 meals a day homie.

    And yes, increase veggies and decrease sodium, that’s fine, but the department of agriculture is the body looking ahead and saying “it can’t be done right now” and delaying the introduction of those rules. It’s the same whining we keep hearing about alternative energy Michael, it just can’t be done cost effectively right now. They are working on it though.

    At least the pizza company is producing something kids eat. If giving them and many other producers, a little extra time to reduce the amount of sodium and so on, than I can’t find a problem with that. By all means serve the kids crap that many of them won’t eat. There are already reports out there of kids who qualify for free lunches bringing in fast food because their school have sped up implantation of some of the new standards.

  4. The meals being offered are increasing from breakfast and lunch to after-school meals for at-risk children. That’s three meals a day, presuming the kids don’t get even more from other sources.

    The only people I’ve heard say none of this can be implemented right now are the politicians and the big businesses that effectively sign their paychecks.

  5. Incidentally, it looks like you mistakenly changed the date on your post to January 14, hence why it isn’t showing up at the top of your blog right now.

  6. Jamie Oliver’s gonna be pissed.

    Seriously, I’m 32, and school lunch has been a problem since I was a kid. Packing a lunch was really the old way to get healthy options even when I was in high school back in the mid-90s, and obviously for many poor children that’s not an option.

    I don’t think any more needs to be added to what’s been said, aside from emphasisizing that:
    1) Corporate interests have absolutely no place in public school food programs
    2) Children need nutrient-dense food, not calorie-dense food

    The thing is, all the crap kids eat hurts their academic performance. It makes them feel sluggish, depressed, and anxious. They exercise less, which exacerbates the problem in a vicious cycle. They grow up accustomed to shit food, which perpetuates the obesity epidemic, the problems of which I have researched and documented here. And I think it’s ridiculous that even to the extent that Michelle Obama’s plan may be arguably flawed, all conservatives have done is bitch about it instead of taking some initiative themselves. Then again, that’s pretty much the norm.

  7. And what the hell is wrong with potatoes? unless you fry them or use them as a butter/cream delivery system they are good solid root veg.

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