Amy Klobuchar, Defender of the Little Pizza

In school lunches, the tomato paste in pizza sauce makes the pizza qualify as a serving of vegetables. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture contemplated changes to school-lunch programs that downgrade the assessment of the nutritional value of tomato paste. (Amy) Klobuchar wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that “tomato paste contributes dietary fiber, potassium — a nutrient of concern for children — as well as Vitamins A & C. It is delivered to kids in popular school items they enjoy eating and drives [school-lunch and breakfast-program] participation.” Congress passed legislation ensuring that the existing nutrition rules wouldn’t change.

Schwan Food Company, based in Marshall, Minn., is one of the country’s biggest producers of frozen pizza, with more than $3 billion a year in annual sales, and it boasts that it produces 70 percent of the pizzas served in school lunches.

-Jim Geraghty

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