The Obama administration's push to limit the starchy vegetables and tomato paste served to millions of children at school each day was derailed by lawmakers this week, in effect enabling school cafeterias to continue offering pizza and french fries.
The proposal also would have nixed the favorable treatment granted to tomato paste. Currently, an eighth of a cup of tomato paste is credited with as much nutritional value as half a cup of vegetables and thus counts as one vegetable serving. That enables food makers to better market their pizzas to schools.
Ordinarily, these type of issues would be hashed out as the USDA gathers comments from the public while finalizing the proposal. But several lawmakers made an end run around the process. They added amendments to block the two changes, on starchy vegetables and tomato paste, to agriculture spending bills moving through the Senate and House.
Late Monday, Senate and House negotiators reconciled the differences between their two spending bills and unveiled the final version, which included language to halt the potato and tomato paste changes.
Just like Ronald Reagan declaring ketchup, but the tomato(e)* is a fruit.
I'm expecting to see a Mr. Fusion powered DeLorean back on the big screen.
*It's an homage to J. Danforth Quayle, who has more brains and common sense than any of the current 'Phant hopefuls.