St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SCHOOLS CAN NOW USE SALSA AS AN `OFFICIAL' VEGETABLE : LOOK FOR IT IN SCHOOL LUNCHES.(News Analysis)

Ketchup couldn't cut it as a vegetable for school lunches. But salsa - its chunkier, spicier cousin - has made the menu.

Give school children a serving of salsa at lunch, and you've just given them a vegetable, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But only if you serve the good stuff - salsa that's made with plenty of tomatoes, onions and peppers. Runny taco sauces or low-grade products held together with modified food starch, gums and stabilizers won't do.

That's the new rule from the USDA, which oversees the federal school-meal program that feeds 26 million youths a day.

Yes, the USDA knows the new salsa rule begs comparison to President Ronald Reagan's administration's much-ridiculed plan to count ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches. …

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