Congress Declares Pizza a Vegetable!

I was sitting around this morning thinking about possible topics for the day and feeling desperate. I thought, “How can I possibly reduce all of my thoughts down to one meaningful topic today? I’m not really in the mood to write anyway. I’ve had a tough week and all I want to do is sit around, play with my new adorable and highly spirited puppy, and attempt to empty the mush pot out of my brain.”

In that moment of angst and temporary apathy for all things that usually light my pilot light, I heard the chirping of my Android 2 Motorola Smart Phone. You know, the sound that notifies you of an incoming text and makes you compulsively react when you hear it? I glanced at my phone and saw a text from my thirteen year old daughter, Rose. It said, “Mom! I’m about to explode and murder every congressman alive. They just passed a bill saying that Pizza is now officially a, get this, VEGETABLE!”

WHAM BAM! There it was in a second…my topic for the day. This is how the Universe works. Ahhh, leave it to Rose to make the cosmic connection for me. This was my thought for the day that feeds my mission in life…to make this fast world a better place to live one person, one mommy, one family, one organization at a time.

Huh? What? Is she kidding me? I immediately sent her a reply text because this is the desired method of quick communication between mothers and their children between 10 and college age. I asked her to send me her proof. I was horrified and disgusted by our bonehead law makers with regards to school nutrition policies once again, but not surprised. For many years I have been aware that large corporate food monsters such as ConAgra and Schwan have been digging their heels into Congress forever by influencing them with their cash contributions and providing corporate representatives, who are strategically placed on lobbying teams and Board of Directors, who decide what our laws are going to be…all in the best interest of their bottom line profits, NOT in the best interest of your health or the health of your precious children. Although this was no surprise to me, I must admit that it was yet another disappointment. Come on, really?

My project today is not designed to pick apart this ridiculous bill, or to express how our law makers are missing the boat when it comes to protecting our health and the future security of our nation. You can read blogs that have already addressed this issue, such as the following post featuring Kristin Wartman, food writer and good steward of social consciousness.

“If there were any lingering doubts as to whom our elected representatives really work for, they were put to rest Tuesday when Congress announced that frozen pizza was a vegetable. The United States Congress voted to rebuke new USDA guidelines for school lunches that would have increased the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in school cafeterias and instead declared that the tomato paste on frozen pizza qualified it as a vegetable. “

This project is about knowing the truth behind the food industry’s tactics and doing the right thing regardless. My personal victory and truth in this is that I am not feeling as bad as I thought I would about yet another Congressional solecism, reported to me by my precious Rose. Instead, I am ecstatically doing heart flips that SHE is angry and conscious of this blunder.

This is the diamond buried in the haystack. There is a glimmer of hope for humanity when a thirteen year old child-woman reacts appropriately to the absurdities of our modern world and decides to do ANYTHING to channel her frustration. This is where the inspiration lies for me. Will Rose continue this behavior and become a change agent for her generation? Oh, I sure hope so. This is the moment when all past, seemingly futile efforts of a mother’s past come together. In this moment, I know that I am on the right track as a parent. There is a sense of peacefulness in this.

There are many things we can do to change the health of our future, but the most important thing we can do has to do with being a good role model for our own bodies, for our friends and for our family. Monkey see…Monkey do. If we want to teach our children how to raise up a healthy body for life, it helps to first enroll in Parent Health and Nutrition 101 so you can learn what good health looks like and how to navigate your ship there.  When you are ready to learn the truth, the perfect teacher will appear. It’s how the Universe works.

If you get through that step, which is certainly the hardest step of all, and you decide that you want your family to eat a whole food, plant based diet, you will want to point everything you do in that direction…grocery shopping, meal preparation and snacks, books that you read, casual topics of conversations, and expressing gratitude out loud every day for all that you have and for another chance to make things better today than they were yesterday. If you eat a whole food, plant based diet and talk about the ‘hows” and ”whys” with your peeps as you travel the journey together, they will eventually get the message and you WILL make a difference. As a change agent for a better world, my inspiration lies right there in the middle of that sweet spot.

One day I felt frustrated and quirky about being that mom who makes her teenage children roll their eyes in disgust during those moments when educational oportunities seem to come flying at them in quick succession. The next day my youngest opened her heart to me, expressing her feelings of anger surrounding ugly national food politics. In that moment, I knew that I had arrived. “Sorry kids, but mama isn’t finished yet. I have until the day you leave for college to teach you the real truth. You can pretend all you want that you’re tuning me out, but I know that you are really listening and trying to make sense of it all. Take your time and think it through…you’ll eventually get it.”

Quote for the day: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson