Agriculture Dept. Pushes Restaurants to Use More Fatty Cheese

Tuesday, November 09, 2010
(photo: Ayersian,
Whether the objective is to help the dairy industry or feed the poor, governments are pushing cheese to help cure their economic ills.
In the United States, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working at cross-purposes in assisting the Domino’s pizza chain sell more food using larger portions of cheese. One branch of the USDA, known as Dairy Management, helped Domino’s develop a new line of pizzas with 40% more cheese that proved to be profitable for the company, which was hurting for business.
At the same time Dairy Management wants Americans to eat more cheese, the USDA has participated in a federal effort to curb obesity among the populace. That might be hard to do when a single slice of Domino’s new pizza contains as much as two-thirds of the daily maximum recommended amount of saturated fat. Dairy Management has also praised such cheese-heavy and fat-rich items as Taco Bell’s steak quesadilla, Wendy’s dual Double Melt sandwich, Burger King’s Cheesy Angus Bacon cheeseburger and Pizza Hut’s Cheesy Bites pizza.
Americans consume an average of 33 pounds of cheese annually, which is almost triple the amount they ate in the 1970s.
Meanwhile, in economically devastated Ireland, the government’s agriculture minister, Brendan Smith, wants to give away 53 tons of free cheese to the poor. Opposition politicians have attacked Smith’s idea, arguing the government should be focusing its efforts on solving the economic crisis and providing jobs to the unemployed, instead of conducting handouts.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales (by Michael Moss, New York Times)


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