Support the Traditional Definition of Vegetables!

11/18/2011 12:40 pm ET | Updated Jan 18, 2012

Forget the "dangers" of same-sex marriage: there is a much greater threat to traditional American values: the creeping danger posed by re-defining pizza and french fries as "vegetables" in our school lunch program. The traditional definition of vegetables can help lead us to a future where we are happier, healthier, and big agri-business lobbyists aren't changing the meanings of our words.

The United States Department of Agriculture, in accordance with congressional direction in the bipartisan Child Nutrition Act, proposed updating school lunch nutrition standards. These revisions are based on recommendations by the Institute of Medicine within the National Academy of Sciences. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has stressed the need for these revisions as an effort to curb childhood obesity and reduce future health care costs. After pressure from lobbyists representing large food conglomerates, Congress has weakened these standards.

It is shameful that we are poised to intervene to make sure that pizza continues to count as a vegetable and that we protect the privileged status of French fries on the lunch tray.

FACT: According to Congress, 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce equals ½ cup of vegetables, thus allowing pizza to be counted as a serving of vegetables in school lunches.

The problem we have in front of us is the institution of vegetables has been weakened in this country, and the effort to redefine it on this vast social experiment that we have going on, redefining vegetables differently than it has ever been defined by mankind before, this effort of this vast social experiment the early data that we see from other places, harms the institution of the family, the raising of the next generation...

FACT: One in three children under the age of 18 will develop Type II Diabetes within their lifetime, with the rate of childhood obesity doubling since 1980.

...and it is harmful to the future of the Republic.

FACT: Our military highlights that a growing number of our young people are too fat to fight, with only one in four meeting the fitness requirements for military service.