USDA Loves Pizza
Corporation hate government regulations and intervention unless it improves profits. The February 24, 2014 issue of Time magazine has a short article about the USDA spending millions of dollars to increase cheese consumption. Money collected from a USDA fee on milk is used to promote other dairy products like cheese.
According to a USDA report, 1 in 8 Americans eat a slice or two of pizza every day. That’s over 41 million people every day. But pizza has had a bad wrap lately. Many prepared pizzas can be high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Pizza crusts are made with refined wheat flour which elevates blood glucose. Ideally thin crust is better than thick crust, less cheese is better than more cheese and vegetable toppings are healthier than meat toppings.
So what does the USDA do? In 2009, a USDA subsidiary (I didn’t know it had subsidiaries) partnered with Domino’s pizza to create a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese! In 2011, the USDA partnership created “kid approved” pizza slices that are now available in over 400 schools. Pizza wasn’t offered when I went to school.
Subsidized dairy farmers (large corporations) sell more milk which produces more cheese which ends up on your gooey, cheesy pizza. In return, Americans get greasy, calorie laden, artery clogging pizza to increase their waistlines and shorten their life expectancy.
A small cheese pizza (10″ diameter), has between 800 and 1,320 calories. That’s a lot of calories for bread, tomato sauce and cheese if you eat the entire pizza. The recommended serving size is one-forth of a pizza. Yeah right. It’s like putting tomato sauce and cheese on a 10-inch flour tortilla and then only eating one-forth. Great if you can do it, but not very filling.
Ironically, another USDA report found sodium in pizzas placed it in the top three for high sodium foods. There is salt in the crust, sauce and cheese.
Being Italian, I grew up on pizza and make my own. My pizza crust and sauce are low sodium and many times I prefer fresh tomatoes to tomato sauce. The sodium comes from cheese and toppings. Nine times out of ten, I prefer my homemade pizza to even the best pizzerias.