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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The ketchup wars

A brave little man stands up and speaks truth to power:

A friend sends along an email attachment—a handwritten letter by his 8-year-old son, Peter. It’s addressed to First Lady Michelle Obama. “It all started because he saw something about school lunches [and] how ketchup is bad for you, and that Michelle Obama wants to limit the amount of ketchup” in schools, my friend explained. When the boy’s mother reminded him he attends a private school, making the ketchup rationing a nonissue, “He said something about wanting to ‘give a voice to the voiceless.’”

A "voice to the voiceless." I like that. "Let my people go . . . get ketchup!" "Unloose these chains that bind us to low-cal condiments!"

I wonder if the left is on a crusade against ketchup as a reaction to President Reagan's efforts to give school lunch planners more flexibility in meeting federal nutrition guidlines. "Ketchup" was never mentioned in the 1981 Food and Nutrition Services report, but did say that "an item could not be counted as a bread that was not enriched or whole-grain, but could credit a condiment such as pickle relish as a vegetable." so the "Reagan thinks ketchup is a vegetable" canard was born. The whole controversy was reignited in 2011 when a Senate bill stipulated that "tomato paste used to make pizzas can be counted toward the weekly total of vegetable servis for school lunches."

The whole thing is kinda funny, since, scientifically speaking, a tomato is actually a fruit, because: got seeds and all that. Of course, those of who cook with them treat them as a vegetable, which is their proper place in the culinary scheme of thngs.

I agree with Michelle's outcome, even if I don't care for her reasoning. We do use far too much ketchup. That's not a nutritional judgment but an aesthethic one. Once I diversified my taste in condiments, my food became a lot more enjoyable, Try a little mustard with those French fries. Put some horseradish sauce on that cold meat sandwich. Toss a splash or two of Worcestershire in those baked beans. You don't even need ketchup on those scrambled eggs -- try a little hot sauce instead.