Last year pizza eaters across the world rejoiced as America declared that the doughy substance was officially a vegetable (yeah – we didn’t get it either…). However, in Ireland pizza lovers are about to get a bit of a shock as a health warning was released today regarding takeaway pizzas.
Why a health warning, you ask? Is pizza dangerous? Can it actually KILL you? Here we attempt to discover just why pizza is suddenly a ‘hazardous’ food…
Why is everyone talking about pizza today? Are they extolling the virtues of this excellent food?
Unfortunately no. If you’d happily eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner you might want to sit down – we have some bad news. Health chiefs issued a health warning today about takeaway pizza. So no, they haven’t been praising the delicious awesomeness of pizza, they’ve been warning us to cut down on our consumption of it.
A health warning? Sounds serious. Why has pizza suddenly been given ‘health-warning’ status?
Well, according to a survey of fast-food restaurants and takeaways by Safefood, the agency which promotes food safety in Ireland, a single 12-inch takeaway pizza contains MORE than your total daily requirement of calories, saturated fat and salt. So basically what they’re telling you is that a pizza is literally a heart attack on a plate. If you were eating it every single day, you’d probably be suffering from some serious health problems right about now...
Hang on a second. Isn’t pizza supposed to be a vegetable? Aren’t vegetables good for you?
We had a feeling you’d bring up that argument. In 2011, a bill that was brought before the US Congress aimed to see pizza reclassified as a vegetable due to the large amounts of tomato sauce that’s smeared across the dough. The bill did not pass (surprise, surprise!), but many politicians still consider pizza to be an actual vegetable, although in Ireland the feeling is definitely not mutual. We see cabbages as being vegetables. We see large doughy constructs with a thin layer of tomato sauce and mass amounts of cheese as being junk food. Here's a simple diagram to help you out:
Pizza does not equal vegetable in Ireland.
But what if we just eat smaller portions of pizza? Will that make it less dangerous for our health?
Do you think you could trust yourself to only order a small pizza when you’re starving and craving a takeaway? You would have to be packing some serious willpower to order yourself the smallest one on the menu. In fact the research carried out on the topic by Safefood showed that one in five of us tends to order a large pizza when we ring up our local pizza delivery place.
Nevermind the fact that we order the large option before we even start thinking about side orders like chips and garlic bread. Oh and we also tend to eat various toppings on our pizzas, like pepperoni and chicken – these add even MORE calories to the pizza making it even worse for our health.
I don’t want to give up my pizza! I love it so much!
Calm down. While a health warning has been issued, you can still indulge in a pizza every now and then as long as you don’t eat it every single day. The good news is that more and more pizza places are offering ‘healthier’ alternatives – why not go for a pizza with a thinner base?
Do you think that pizza will ever be classed as a vegetable in Ireland?
Given the current 'health warning' announcement, no...no we don't...but we can always keep on dreaming...