Ketchup in the Culture Wars
America's culture wars have had a food fight over ketchup. Democratic holdovers in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture during the early early days of the Reagan Administration sought to embarrass the President's budget proposals in the liberal media by reclassifying ketchup as a vegetable and alleging this was an effort to starve America's school children through the federally funded hot lunch program, "so public schools could include it in their balanced meal plan." Liberal critics seized upon the disinformation and charged that it would allow schools to count ketchup as a vegetable in place of "real" vegetables like potatoes and the like in meeting a mandatory quota. After a volcano of negative publicity, the USDA stopped referring to condiments as vegetables.
Four years after inheriting the Heinz Ketchup fortune of $500 million, Teresa Heinz married Senator John Forbes Kerry (later the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee). According to the G2 Bulletin, an online intelligence newsletter of WorldNetDaily, in the years between 1995-2001 Mrs. Heinz gave more than $4 million to an organization called the Tides Foundation. Other recipients of the ketchup fortune were:
- Numerous anti-war groups, including former Johnson Attorney General Ramsey Clark's International Action Center. Clark offered to defend Saddam Hussein when at trial.
- The Democratic Justice Fund, a joint venture of the Tides Foundation and billionaire George Soros. The Democratic Justice Fund seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration from terrorist states.
- The Council for American-Islamic Relations, whose leaders are known to have close ties to the terrorist group Hamas.
- The National Lawyers Guild, organized as a communist front during the Cold War era. One of their attorneys, Lynne Stewart, was arrested for helping a client, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, communicate with terror cells in Egypt. He is the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and the Abortion Action Project.
- The most violent of all homosexual action groups, ACT-UP.
- The "Barrio Warriors," a radical Hispanic group whose primary goal is to return all of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico.
- A Chance to Feast on Reagan, Time, 1981-10-12
- Did the Reagan-era USDA really classify ketchup as a vegetable?, The Straight Dope, 2004-07-16