By Virginia Schuler
The catchphrase “congress classifies pizza as a vegetable” has been circulating heavily, followed by expressions of either disgust or elation. But despite popular belief, congress didn’t actually render the foods synonymous. They did, however, place pizza sauce on par with fresh vegetables. Although this likeness isn’t as shocking as the pizza parallel, it still gives a distorted view of nutrition to society. It officially blurs the line of distinction between processed food and fresh food. In our uber-genetically-modified food market today, we struggle to maintain nutritional integrity. Telling children that canned tomato paste and fresh vegetables are exchangeable takes us a few more steps in the wrong direction.
It seems like people sacrifice truth for the sake of convenience all too often in this country. Why is that the case? We have more money than does a large percentage of the rest of the world, but we also suffer from a plethora of health problems and obesity. Our penchant for immediate gratification exists as a major culprit. If we start to cut corners in the food department, our bodies will eventually suffer consequences. As college students, we require convenience in order to make it through our busy schedules, but by making instant meals a habit we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. Without ample love from vitamins and minerals, our bodies and brains don’t function efficiently.
Instead of spending an extra ten minutes straightening your hair, take the time to chop up some fresh vegetables. Or put some dried fruit or nuts into your backpack as a study snack. Not only will your hair look naturally shiny (especially from omega 3 rich walnuts), but you’ll have enough energy to plow through those last 20 pages. When the weekend rolls around, go ahead and treat yourself to a slice of pizza, but do so with the knowledge that it remains just that—a treat—not an essential component of your diet.
Virginia Schuler is a student at the University of Iowa.