by Marion Nestle
Mar 20 2018

USDA-sponsored “Checkoff” program urges more cheese on pizza

The daily newsletter,, sends this intriguing story: “Pizza Hut adds 25% more cheese to pan pizzas as part of dairy checkoff program.”

More than 6,000 Pizza Hut locations in the US are adding 25% more cheese to its pan pizzas, requiring an additional 150m lbs of milk annually to meet the change, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) said.

You read that right: 150 million additional pounds of milk to make cheese for pizza.

Dairy Management Inc. runs the National Dairy Promotion & Research Board, a USDA-sponsored “checkoff” program.  Its purpose is to “build demand for dairy products.”

It does this by convincing fast food chains to add more dairy items to their menus.

As DairyReporter explains,

Pizza Hut’s increased milk demand could help chip away at an oversupply of milk causing a downward pressure on milk prices in the US. The USDA estimated that the US dairy industry will produce 21.8bn lbs of milk in 2018, while slightly lower than 2017 production, the supply still outweighs market demand causing milk prices to continue to drop.

I like cheese as much as anyone, but more cheese means more calories, if nothing else.

One ounce of mozzarella cheese provides 85 calories.  Two ounces = 170 calories, etc.

Enough said.

Addition: Thanks to Gerri French for telling me about Michael Moss’s video on this topic, based on his book Salt, Sugar, Fat.

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