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Despite some positive steps toward creating healthier subsidized school lunches, a loophole in U.S. Depart­ment of Agriculture regulations helped to get pizza classified as a serving of vegetables earlier this year. In the same spirit that made ketchup a vegetable for school lunches back in the 1980s, apparently a schmeer of tomato paste does the trick this time around.

Public outcry over “pink slime” has borne results. This ground-beef filler made from cow connective tissue and low-grade meat scraps that is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill E. coli, is found in 70% of supermarket ground beef and is served to kids in the National School Lunch Program. In late March the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that beginning in 2013 it will offer school districts a choice of beef with or without the filler. Which would you vote for?

Amid all of these potential inflammatory agents to kids’ bodies, it may be prudent to incorporate a serving or two of gold kiwifruit for balance. New Zealand researchers recently reported in the British Journal of Nutrition that subjects who ate four gold kiwifruit daily reported less-severe cold symptoms than subjects who ate two bananas per day.

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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