US Government: ‘Eat More Pizza!’

US Government: 'Eat More Pizza!'

13 percent of Americans eat pizza each day (no, not the same 13 percent …). That’s a lot of people and lots of calories, saturated fat, and sodium, too.

And Uncle Sam helps. The USDA runs a “dairy checkoff program” though small assessments on milk sales to processors, raising hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The funds are turned over to Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI) to encourage public demand for dairy products. U.S. fluid milk consumption is down, but cheese eating is way up, and 25 percent of that cheese is melted on pizza.  DMI has a partnership with Domino’s Pizza, America’s 2nd largest retailer of pizza-like objects, and paid Domino’s $35 million over the past 3 years to develop and market cheesier pies.

Read about it here:

“How the U.S. government spends millions to get people to eat more pizza,” Brad Plumer, Washington Post blog

“USDA reports on pizza consumption and on dairy checkoff program initiatives to increase pizza demand,” Park Wilde, US Food Policy blog


“The U.S. military has developed a pizza that stays edible for years,” George Dvorsky, io9

“The 7 best songs about pizza ever recorded,” Patrick Wensink, Salon

US Government: 'Eat Pizza!'

Julia Roberts relishes a slice at L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Naples, not Domino’s.


Short link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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2 Responses to “US Government: ‘Eat More Pizza!’”

  1. Ryan Bright (@Farmerbright) Says:

    Saying the US Govt is promoting pizza is misleading. The dairy checkoff is paid for by all dairy farmers and run by dairy farmers. To say what they do is only about pizza would be missing out on 99% of the wonderful research and promotion of a healthy lifestyle and other things they do.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Ryan Bright wrote: “The dairy checkoff is paid for by all dairy farmers”

    Not out of the goodness of their hearts. They are compelled to do so by the Federal Government. It’s not optional, it’s a kind of tax. The dairy checkoff is steeper than the compulsory AMS meat and produce marketing checkoffs. Those tax-like funds are used for marketing.

    “To say what they do is only about pizza would be missing out on 99% of the wonderful research and promotion of a healthy lifestyle and other things they do.”

    They’re not promoting a “healthy lifestyle,” they’re promoting consumption of farm commodities. DMI’s promotion of fluid milk isn’t working, though; milk consumption is down. Cheese consumption is up, however, and 25% of that cheese is eaten on pizza. Recognizing that trend, DMI spent $35 million of those compulsory checkoff dollars helping Domino’s sell pizzas with cheese stuffed inside as well as melted on top of them. That is indeed a government pizza promotion program, and it’s certainly not about helping Americans eat healthier.

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