This Week’s Cartoon: “The War on Vegetables”

As you’ve probably heard, Congress recently blocked new USDA rules intended to improve nutrition in school lunches. Among them was a requirement that pizza slices have more than a 1/4 cup of tomato paste in order to qualify as containing a vegetable. Big food heavies such as Coca-Cola, Del Monte, the American Frozen Food Institute, and the National Potato Council weighed in to preserve the school-lunch status quo.

What you may not have heard about is how large companies and industry groups have also managed to infiltrate conferences for nutrition professionals. The biggest one — the American Dietetic Association conference — is now sponsored by the likes of Coca-Cola, Pepsico, and Mars. I highly recommend this entertaining and appalling report on Food Safety News, which comes complete with photos of a giant can of Goldfish crackers dangling from the trade show ceiling and a Coca-Cola booth bearing the slogan “Promoting the Registered Dietician.” Panels included — I kid you not — one called “A Fresh Look at Processed Foods.”


  • Tom

    I want to believe that nothing as ridiculous as a War on Vegetables could happen. But I’m still stunned from the other day when (a) Newt Gingrich said the cure for our economic problems is to bring back child labor, and (b) Rush Limbaught, on the air, said that Michelle Obama was booed by Nascar fans because she was “Uppity.”

    I’m having a hard time telling the news from The Onion.

  • Justin

    You know, I keep hoping that willful ignorance and deliberate disinformation will go out of style, or at least be regulated by the laws intended to protect us.

  • Kevin Moore

    It’s so great Congress has stood up for the sanctity of tomato paste, when 1 out of 5 children in the US is “food insecure”! And, hey black and Latino kids — you’re 1 in 3!

    Great toon, Jenn.

  • Maynard

    Congress, both sides of the aisle, has been bought and paid for, as has the Presidency and the Supreme Court, and now that pepper spray has been declared a food product by Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, we can expect to ingest lots more of it.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.