School pizza affected by California nutritional rules

According to a news report from scrippsnews.com, “Juniors Alexandria Harding and Alicia Ceja at Clovis West (Calif.) High School remember it well: The pepperoni was cut in greasy, tasty chunks, embedded in gooey cheese atop a square of crust. Yummy stuff, those pizzas from years back.”

“Oh, remember? Those were good,” Alicia said, wistfully recalling the pizza served in grade school. But nutrition rules have forced schools to bake healthier pizzas. That makes them not much more popular than salad on many campuses, some of which have dropped the old favorite completely,” said the story. “Pizza has gone through many makeovers as campus food managers across the country strive to meet increasingly strict fat and calorie restrictions. At the same time, they must keep sales high enough to cover costs. Some campuses — such as those in the Visalia Unified (Calif.) School District — meet the low-fat guidelines in part by serving skinnier slices. All have altered recipes and cut back on cheese and other high-fat ingredients.”

“Even student clubs selling pizza at breaks and lunch to raise money have had to switch to a “light” pizza,” according to the article. “And by next fall, more changes are in store for pizza, with state education officials requiring all bread — including pizza crust — to be at least half whole-wheat. This year, because of stricter California laws on school-lunch nutrition, even pizza served at campus snack bars has been de-greased and lightened with low-fat cheese and turkey pepperoni. At many schools, healthier pizza has been a flop with kids.”

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