Everyone knows American’s absolutely love their pizza, so it might seem redundant to conduct a government report on our daily consumption of this delicious, cheesy, comfort food. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released one anyway, and the results are actually quite alarming.
The short version of the story is that 13% of Americans are eating pizza on any given day (over a quarter of young males are eating it daily).
But biggest problem with this statistic is simply that this adds up to a LOT of calories. According to this statistic, on any given day, pizza provides American children with 6% of their total caloric intake, and 4% for American adults.
It may seem that these high intake levels would be due solely to the bubbly, cheesy, carb-filled pie being so yummy, but there is actually a guiding force being used to coerce us to eat even more than we would on our own. Essentially, the root of the influence is the USDA’s ‘dairy checkoff program’.
Basically, this program initiates a small levy fee on milk; this fee raised $202 million in 2011. The agency then uses that money to promote dairy products, such as milk and cheese. This policy also, obviously, consequently promotes pizza, since over a quarter of the nation’s cheese going to pizza production.
The USDA claims that this program is actually highly effective: farmers receive an estimated $4.43 in addition revenue for every dollar spent by the agency on increasing cheese demand. However, this biased promotion of cheese has caused milk consumption to decline, while cheese consumption is soaring.
This check-off program has also benefited pizza makers, as Congress has worked with corporations such as Dominos in expanding their products and boosting their sales, with the ultimate goal of boosting cheese sales in the nation.
Although this levy fee helps farmers, the government, and pizza sales, some people often note the drastic difference in efforts to promote fruits and vegetables with the same veracity as less-healthy dairy products.
Sources: Washington Post