An Ounce of Tomato Paste a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

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Sarah Kliff, obviously auditioning for killjoy of the day, says that Congress has not, in fact, declared pizza a vegetable. What they did was allow tomato paste to retain its privileged place in school lunches: for nutritional purposes, an eighth of a cup of tomato paste counts the same as half a cup of fruits and vegetables. The reason for this is obvious: it makes it easier for pizza to find a spot on school lunch menus. But suspect motivations aside, Sarah say the decision wasn’t really all that outrageous on the merits:

If you stack one-eighth of a cup of tomato paste up against a half-cup of some pretty common fruits and vegetables, the paste actually doesn’t do so badly….All told, the nutrition facts look really similar. Tomato paste does do a lot worse on sodium, but it also does much better in terms of calcium and potassium content. It also slightly edges out apples on dietary fiber, with a lower amount of sugar.

Is Sarah merely a mouthpiece for Big Paste? A full-scale investigation is probably needed on that score. But her evidence is below. Read it and weep, pizza haters.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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